[ARC REVIEW] “Throwing Shade” By: Karole Cozzo

What is “Throwing Shade” by Karole Cozzo About:

SPF at the ready… someone’s about to get burned.

As a year-round resident of Cape May, New Jersey, Maisie Mundy has grown up loathing the “shoobies” that flood her charming seaside town each summer and treat it like their personal playground. And when it comes to shoobies, there’s none worse than Preston St. James, the arrogant heir to the St. James Development Company, the same company that’s trying to drive Maisie’s grandfather’s beach umbrella company out of town to greenlight their latest downtown project. Maisie is the only person aware of the dire financial situation her grandfather has found himself in, and she’s the only person who can save the shop, peddling rental umbrellas on the beach daily, doing whatever it takes to keep Mundy’s Sundries afloat. When Preston launches a beach delivery app to win a Shark Tank competition at his private school, he gives Maisie a whole new reason to hate him. Immediately, the two become engaged in a battle of rumor-spreading and sabotage that could sink them both.

But as Maisie’s best friend Summer points out, hating someone that much takes a lot of passion, and the more time Maisie spends duking it out with Preston, the more that passion starts looking like something else entirely; the more it starts looking like romance. The closer Maisie and Preston become, the more she trusts him with her heart… and her family’s secrets. When Mrs. St. James uses insider information to deliver the final blow to Mundy’s Sundries, Maisie’s convinced their romance was another one of Preston’s tactics, one meant to hurt her and her family at the same time, despite his denial of belying her trust. Was Maisie a fool for ever trusting a St. James, or will her lack of faith in Preston be the real reason she gets burned this summer?

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


“Throwing Shade” is the perfect summer beach read! It’s such a fun enemies-to-lovers romance, and it’s a quick read! (As in, I think it took me about 4 hours.) Not only does it have a fun romance, but it also has great friendship and family relationships as the backbone of the story.

Preston’s app idea was a really good one — it definitely created a lot of conflict, but also exposed a lot about his relationship with his school friends and his mother. Not to give anything away, but I loved the scene with him and Maisie playing Monopoly! Their relationship evolved really adorably, and I would love to see a flash forward of them in the future, too.

Maisie’s best friend, Summer, has a whole side plot that was really interesting. As a star swimmer afraid to swim in the open water of the ocean, we get to see her confront her fears in different ways with the help of Maisie and Summer’s new love interest. (I’d be totally down for a spin-off starring Summer!) We also see the conflict between Summer and one of her swim teammates, both with swimming as a competition and with race — it sort of reminded me of “The Hate U Give” and Starr’s friend Hailey, making implicitly racist comments under the guise of talking about something else.

Maisie’s relationship with her grandparents was super special, and I loved that. I’m very close with my grandparents, so her relationships with them were extra sweet to me. We get to see how Maisie takes care of them, even sometimes at the expense of herself, which shows us a lot about her and her character.

Overall, this was a super sweet, fun read! It’s a perfect read to start off the summer (even though most of it takes place towards the end of summer), and I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for a quick, fun read! Huge thanks to Karole for providing me with an ARC of the book!


An interview with Karole about the book is coming soon! For now, you can go read the book, and check out my review of another one of her books, The Game Can’t Love You Back, as well as my interview with her about it! (Or the playlist for Throwing Shade!)

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