Ana Takes Manhattan
Author: Lissette Decos
What I’m Talking About:
Ana Takes Manhattan is all about discovering one’s self, making peace with flaws and mistakes, and figuring out what brings joy. Ana is convinced she knows what she wants in life and feels sorry for herself because she doesn’t have it. She puts herself outside of relationships, never opening up and getting close. She wears armor to protect her heart, and then is sad when her relationships with her family, her best friend, with men… let her down.
In a moment of self-pity, Ana discovers the list she made in college outlining the four traits of her perfect man. While she dreams that best man Landon is her ideal match, Ana doesn’t have the courage to go after him, so instead she dates four different men, each embodying one of her must have traits. I love that Ana recognizes the flaws in each, yet edits the dates in her mind to eliminate any issues. She knows it’s not really working but convinces herself that she’s trying.
Meanwhile Ana’s relationship with Gia is strained as she hides things from her. Ana also resents Gia because Gia has the perfect man (and perfect life) yet carelessly flirts with dozens of others. Personally, I did not like Gia nor her fiancé, who is using Ana to court a famous artist to his gallery. Ana loves Gia, but I don’t see it. Gia is self-absorbed and controlling. Ana knows this and still sees a best friend. Apparently Gia loves Ana too, but her actions don’t back that up. I disliked every scene where Gia and Ana interact.
As Ana moves through life dating four different men, she’s also trying to figure out her career. She’s been stagnant, working as a producer for a marriage proposal reality TV show, which is entering its final season. She’s been paired with a new editor, Richard, who doesn’t tick off any of the traits on her list. Their connection is the most real thing in Ana’s life, because Ana is herself around Richard. Their conversations are natural, whether teasing, productive, or serious. These scenes are the best in the book.
Ana is a mess; we witness Ana making mistakes and throwing pity parties. But we also see Ana growing and learning to love herself. Ana Takes Manhattan is an engaging journey of self-discovery.
My Rating: B/B-
About the Book:
Ana Karina loves her job—though she isn’t quite where she thought she’d be by now. As reality tv producer, she orchestrates extravagant marriage proposals that always (read: mostly) go as planned. If they don’t, she’s not afraid to cut and paste scenes to perfection afterward. Even if her arrogant film editor isn’t a fan. But what does he know about romance anyway?
If only Ana’s love life was as simple as fixing botched engagements. She’s sick and tired of guys who give her the ick. Open‑toed sandals? Gross. Mr. Casual. No, thanks. Barcode tattoo? Cut! Ana’s got a mile‑long list of all the cringey things to steer clear of. And Ana loves lists. Her to‑dos for her best friend’s wedding, show ideas to pitch, and even her list of what she does want in Mr. Right. With only four requirements, why is it taking so long to find him?
She refuses to put her life on hold waiting. She’ll just date four men who each embody one quality. Never mind them lacking in other departments. Yet as she finds the Prince Charming in every frog, she also gets closer to facing who she’s avoided for years. Herself.
Release Date: February 28, 2023
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, romantic elements
Format(s): paperback (368 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley
Amazon (affiliate link)