Book Review: Lease on Love by Falon Ballard

Lease on Love by Falon Ballard Book Review Features A Quick Synopsis, Plot Overview, Common Themes, Opinions, And Rating

Quick Summary:

Lease on Love by Falon Ballard tells the story of Sadie Green, a financial advisor in her 20s living in New York City. At the beginning of the book, she’s preparing to finally get the promotion she deserved after six years at her company where she essentially devoted all her free time to putting in hours to earn this promo. Things take a turn where Sadie now needs to figure out her living situation and questions her career path. Mild spoilers up ahead!

Plot Overview:

After Sadie gets fired for blowing up on the boss when she hears that she lost her promotion to nepotism, she now has to figure out her next steps. Seeing as how she’s plagued with student loans and lives in an expensive part of the city, she has to rethink her living situation and figure out whether she wants to go back to the finance world. She considers getting a roommate to alleviate the high NYC rents, and ends up drunkenly agreeing to meet with someone off the roommate app. At this point, I did find it unrealistic that she’d get fired immediately for standing up for herself in front of her bosses. Granted, she did it filled with f-bombs but I would expect she would have gotten a slap on the wrist or be on probation. The reality of the situation is that you can pour your whole life into a job/career and still not prosper because it’s not always about how hard you work or how well you do your job, but it’s about who you know. Add the fact that she’s a woman to the equation and things get even more difficult.
Sadie ends up meeting Jack for coffee after her drunken stupor, where she doesn’t exactly realize she’s in a roommate interview and thinks this is a date. Turns out this Jack dude OWNS a Brooklyn brownstone and was looking for a new roommate where he was offering rent dirt cheap. Given Sadie’s situation, she couldn’t really turn it down so she agreed to be Jack’s roommate. The second Jack mentions his brownstone and that he owns it outright, the story cements itself in unrealism. Yes, I know this is a novel but the beauty of contemporary romance is that they’re somewhat realistic. The odds of finding a millennial who owns a brownstone and is looking for a cheap roommate in Brooklyn are so slim, you’d have better odds if you played the lottery.
She takes this opportunity to revisit an old idea of becoming a florist. Sadie mentions that gardening was one of the few things that brought her peace when she lived at home and was something she was considering exploring as a career path. However, seeing as how a career in finance seemed more financially stable, she shelved the dream until now. She starts a florist business out of Jack’s home, using social media to gain clients and notoriety.

Common Themes + Opinions:

Throughout the book, Sadie perpetually mentions how selfish she is and that she’s a huge asshole. She continuously self deprecates where her group of friends continue to rally to tell her that its not true, that she’s a great person, etc. We get a tiny glimpse into why she claims to be a selfish asshole when she reveals her father was a textbook narcissist and nothing she ever did was good enough for him. Her mother wasn’t any better as she rarely defended her. Aside from this very small revelation, we don’t know that much about Sadie and why she is the way she is. She uses snarky humor and self deprecation as a character trait, and we get not much else. Same with Jack. We know barely anything about the guy except that he’s good looking, rich, owns the brownstone and his parent’s house in Connecticut, and does not have a day job (doesn’t need one apparently).
For a lot of the book, we see two shells for characters, interacting with each other and Sadie’s friends, who are just there to be Sadie’s cheerleaders and not much else. I find it difficult to believe that Sadie and Jack fell for each other despite knowing very little about each other. Sure, they were in each other’s space given that they are roommates but Sadie was always running around either at her bartending job or putting together arrangements. We do find out that Jack’s parents died in a car accident seven years prior but we know not much else about him. His plot line gets interesting towards the end of the book, where the catalyst event of the story occurs. And while it was somewhat of a big revelation, it fell flat. Jack’s character lacked depth, and seeing as how his big revelation happened towards the end of the book, it wasn’t meant to be fleshed out.

Final Thoughts + Ratings:

Overall, this one was a slow read for me. I had trouble trying to stay engaged with the story given that Sadie and Jack fell flat as characters, and the plot was too unrealistic for my tastes. I find it incredibly hard to believe that someone who just became unemployed suddenly found an amazing brownstone to share for dirt cheap, started their own business and became a success overnight, and found the “perfect boyfriend” that quickly – in New York City no less. Yes, I know this is a novel but one of the things i enjoy about contemporary romance is that there is a sense of realism in each story. This one lacked that. Lease on Love gets 2.5 stars, and as for the spice, it’ll get half a pepper. When Jack and Sadie finally hook up, the anticipation that they will had passed; they tried to build up the tension and by the time it happened, I was bored.
Have you read Lease on Love? Let me know what you think in the comments!
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