Quarantine and Read: Swipe Right by Stephie Chapman
The world of online dating is a mixture of excitement, disappointment, and just pure fodder for future happy hour/Girls’ Night stories. Whether it’s to find the one or to find the next hookup, anyone who has tried online dating has that story to tell – the one that makes you cringe, laugh, or even thank all the deities that you left the date unscathed.
And when one puts all those dates together for an anonymous online column, well it just makes for good entertainment.
In Swipe Right, author Stephie Chapman takes us on the perilous journey of online dating, where matters of the heart are not as simple as a swipe on an app.
We meet Fran, a Londoner who finds her dream job as a web creator for the Buzzfeed-esque Viral Hive, where she meets her counterpart, Ollie, a fellow content creator and her biggest competition. Soon, the pair realize they work better together than apart and become the office’s quintessential work husband and wife. Eventually, Fran and Ollie find that their workplace dynamic goes beyond the office but there’s a catch: they’re both in committed relationships. When Fran’s relationship ends, she decides that what her broken heart needs is a new project: an anonymous dating column, chronicling her adventures on Tinder. Soon, she finds herself immersed in the online dating culture and that the person she really wants has been literally right next to her the entire time.
When Harry Met Sally…For the Tinder Age
Swipe Right poses the age old question, “Can men and women simply be friends?” The book explores the complex and sometimes frustrating dynamic between two people who have the potential to be more, but life simply gets in the way.
Fran and Ollie’s chemistry jumps off the page and within the first chapter, you are rooting for these two crazy kids to get their act together and just snog. Since it’s set in London, I get to use words like that. The author takes her sweet time, allowing the pair’s relationship to go from intense rivalry to friendship to the promise of something more. We, as the readers, get to watch their feelings for each other develop and evolve, and soon we even find ourselves enamored with their friendship as much as their romantic potential. Fran and Ollie’s banter and friendship is natural, sweet, and at times, emotionally raw and never once feels forced or out of place.
Although I loved the story of Fran and Ollie, it is Fran’s story about self-discovery and growth that moves the story to a satisfying conclusion. Fran is not your typical rom-com heroine: Whether it’s in her job or her personal life, Fran does not sit idly by and wait for life to happen; she makes it happen. She speaks her mind, takes pride in her ideas and work, owns up to her mistakes, loves and argues with her friends (Chapman gives us a diverse and well-developed community of friends and colleagues that are just as memorable as the leads), and unabashedly follows her heart, no matter how frightening it may be. In the end, I fell in love with Fran’s journey and my one complaint was that the book ended. We all need more Fran in our lives.
Fine, Fran and Ollie.
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Julie believes great books should be read more than once and prides herself on finding the "dirty part" in any romance novel under a minute. Loves red wine but loves it more when shared with friends. Has an (embarrassingly) extensive knowledge about all things Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl. Is currently curating the perfect playlists that ALWAYS include a song from one of the Twilight soundtracks.