Review of Audiobook You Should Smile More by Anastasia Ryan @ByAnastasiaRyan @Dreamscapeaudio @hillatious #YouShouldSmileMore #NetGalley

How can you resist a novel about five calico kittens, glitter bombs, and a bridge brigade (bridge players not river bridges (is river bridges an actor?))? The answer is: you seriously can’t . . . or not so seriously but the end result is the same, you can’t.

Blurb: Telemarketer Vanessa Blair isn’t in love with her job. It pays the bills and feeds her foster kittens but offers only one other perk: her friendships with Jane Delaney and Trisha Lam. But, as mind-numbing as her job is, things are about to get worse.

Xavier Adams, her self-absorbed boss, calls Vanessa into the conference room and fires her. The reason? Her facial expressions. Apparently, her resting bitch face is awake, and it doesn’t matter that her sales numbers are stellar or that she organizes office events.

After a girls’ night of schnapps and imagining revenge, Vanessa awakens to find that Trisha is more literal than she thought and has implemented a twelve-step plan to sabotage the company. Vanessa wants nothing to do with it. She wants to file for unemployment and move on with her life, possibly with Carter Beckett, the cute cat-loving unemployment rep assigned to her case. But when Xavier contests her unemployment and ruins her shot at her dream job, Vanessa is all in. She soon discovers that something is rotten at the company, and it’s more than Xavier’s bare feet.

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I think that Anastasia Ryan’s delightful romp You Should Smile More is for every woman to whom a man has said, “You should smile more” or the abbreviated, “Smile,” which we might have done and then immediately rolled our eyes after we passed them by. While Vanessa Blair does her fair share of eye rolling, she also manages, with a little help from her friends, to achieve something greater in this funny, endearing novel.

Vanessa Blair, a telemarketer, is fired from her job by her constantly barefoot, narcissistic, and smarmy boss, Xavier Adams, who has more than once commented on her facial expressions–hardly relevant for a telemarketer–and tells her the reason for her firing is her face. Despite the fact the comment comes from her former idiot boss, it smarts and makes Vanessa feel self-conscious.

Vanessa and her two work friends, Jane, who was also fired, and Trisha, who had to write an essay in lieu of being fired, rally around a bottle of peppermint schnapps and Trisha’s knowledge of The Art of War by Sun Tzu to eventually formulate a plan that Trisha takes seriously and Vanessa barely recalls. What comes next is a slapstick story involving supportive friends, family, calico kittens, and being forced to find your true life waiting after the ruckus settles.

You Should Smile More is often funny, sometimes touching–especially the ending with Vanessa and her face. There is a nice little romance between Vanessa and her unemployment representative, Carter Beckett, which is not the focus of the novel and for which I’m glad because I found the comraderie among the women to be a nice touch with many feel-good moments.

While the climax was something of a slapstick free-for-all, it was hugely funny and satisfying.

I enjoyed listening to Hillary Huber narrate You Should Smile More. One of her voices reminded me of Sue Sylvester from Glee who I kept imagining when I heard her speak. Ha. Huber brought the story to life and leant further enjoyment to an already entertaining novel.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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