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Startup by Doree Shafrir
Contemporary fiction


We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Doree Shafrir, on your first book!

by Doree Shafrir

Quick take

Full of humor and scathing office drama: Risqué text messages. Tech bros. An influx of viral mishaps.

Why I love it

Glory Edim
Founder, Well-Read Black Girl

Millennials drinking green juice teetering between cushy benefits and Adderall addictions. The frantic pace, open office, the witty repartee, the keg parties. The mission! The stock options! Having worked at start-ups and in online culture for more than a decade, I’ve seen it all. And, based on my experiences at least, Startup captures the vibe perfectly. Â

A satirical and intensely entertaining debut, Startup is an amusing story of the absurdity of tech culture and modern romance gone awry. Even if you secretly lament the good ol' days when people used the telephone instead of Snapchat, anyone who’s ever held an office job will find something to identify within.

The story begins with Mack McAllister, the founder of TakeOff, a wellness app valued at $600 million. He is untouchable, cocky, and setting the pace in Silicon Alley (New York’s answer to California’s Silicon Valley). His ultimate goal: To get the business to $1 billion, no matter how empty the product might be.

Like Mack, the female characters in Startup are smart, unpredictable and display a level of brashness to be feared and admired. There’s Isabel, whose official title at TakeOff is Engagement Ninja. She’s young, beautiful, and seemingly careless with her life choices. There’s Sabrina, a working mom who, at the ripe old age of 36, is one of TakeOff’s older employees. Then there’s Katya, a fierce young reporter hungry for her big break at online magazine TechScene. Together these women develop an unexpected bond and might even have each other’s backs in a cutthroat industry. Trust me, they’ll need it.

Startup is full of humor and scathing office drama: Risqué text messages. Tech bros. An influx of viral mishaps. Doree Shafrir perfectly captures the absurdity of our internet obsessions -- all the useless apps that navigate our day-to-day existence. I found myself laughing (and occasionally cringing) at her vivid and scathing observations. I encourage you to read _Startup_ and see how their digital worlds collide. You won't be disappointed!Â

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Member thoughts

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All (2759)
Love (445)
Like (1616)
Dislike (698)
2935 ratings
  • 15% Love
  • 55% Like
  • 24% Dislike
  • Milledgeville, IL

    I have been meaning to read this book for a year and just started reading it a week or so ago. I wanted to do a better job this year of reading, and once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down!

  • New York, NY

    I expected a much lighter summer read and was pleasantly surprised to find it fun, but woven throughout with a strong feminist narrative and examination of the experience of racial minorities in tech.

  • Yorkville, IL

    Quick read but this book surprised me. At the beginning you think it will be the stereotypical startup machismo environment but it finishes with strong female empowerment. Women sticking up for women!

  • Mcewen, TN

    When I picked this book for the month of April I honestly thought I was going to hate it. It was actually pretty darn good. I felt like I could connect with one of the women and it made it much better

  • Clarksville, TN

    I picked Sleuth-Status & Spine-Tingling emojis because there are many exciting mysteries, but they're all office-gossip related. This novel is good stuff. Little slow to start but very worth finishing

  • Belmont, NH

    This is a book that finally builds up and makes it harder and harder to put down. I found myself reading this faster and faster, anticipating what would happen next. Cliff hanging ending! What's next?

  • Minneapolis, MN

    This book deals with workplace harassment better than anything I've ever read. It gives weight to the topic without feeling weighed down by it. I loved that the relationships weren't a central focus.

  • Chelmsford, MA

    I absolutely loved reading this book - incredibly relatable to start-ups in reality, it was mind bending to see the parallels! I couldn't put it down and wish it never ended! 10/10 would recommend :)

  • Lansdowne, PA

    As a Gen X'er (Web 1.0, maybe even Web 0.5), I loved this look into millennial startup culture. Shafrir builds characters very well, and has a light touch in satirizing the new office environments.

  • Fitchburg, WI

    It took a while to get the know the characters and how they relate. However, the pages in the second half of the book turned themselves! It wasn't surprising, but I liked how it all came together.

  • Ardmore, PA

    Loved getting to know the characters and seeing how their work and personal lives intertwined throughout the book! Fun read offering a glimpse into the millenial, start-up culture and life in NYC.

  • Las Vegas, NV

    I love this book's commentary on male entitlement in corporate culture. The analysis of relationships between men and women in the workplace is hilarious, terrifying, heartbreaking, and spot on.

  • Boulder, CO

    I picked up this book and had to reschedule the rest of my day because I needed to finish it. The characters were hilarious and real; the setting was very true to culture; and the plot was good.

  • Chestnut Hill, MA

    "Startup" was my favorite BOTM that I have received so far. It was an extremely fast read (one day while on vacation). The book is fast-paced and keeps the reader engaged. 10/10 would recommend!

  • Yonkers, NY

    Even if you don't work at a startup, this is exactly what the lives of Millennials are in New York City. It definitely made me think twice about how much I depend on my phone. Overall good read.

  • Nashville, TN

    I was wildly impressed by the strong females Shafrir included in her novel. All were incredibly different with wildly different lives, but all struggled with a common problem: sexual harassment.

  • Pittsburgh, PA

    Amazing satire of tech culture and exploration of the modern workplace, especially for young women. One of the funniest, yet most real, novels I've read. Immediately had my girlfriend read it!

  • Free Union, VA

    I couldn't put this one down. I appreciated that it was thought-provoking and critical without being dismissive of my generation and social media. The ending was so so satisfying in every way.

  • Putnam, CT

    True to life look at millennials and how technology is changing lives, not necessarily for the better! Hoping there is a part 2 in the works, since the ending left me feeling unstatisfied.

  • Bozeman, MT

    This dinosaur loved (and learned a few things from) this rollicking, laugh-out-loud satire of millennials navigating their way through timeless issues in an increasingly media-driven age.

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