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Publisher's Summary

From veteran online journalist and BuzzFeed writer Doree Shafrir comes a hilarious debut novel that proves there are some dilemmas that no app can solve.

Mack McAllister has a $600 million idea. His mindfulness app, TakeOff, is already the hottest thing in tech, and he's about to launch a new and improved version that promises to bring investors running and may turn his brainchild into a $1 billion business - in startup parlance, an elusive unicorn.

Katya Pasternack is hungry for a scoop that will drive traffic. An ambitious young journalist at a gossipy tech blog, Katya knows that she needs more than another PR-friendly puff piece to make her the go-to byline for industry news.

Sabrina Choe Blum just wants to stay afloat. The exhausted mother of two and failed creative writer is trying to escape from her credit card debt and an inattentive husband - who also happens to be Katya's boss - as she rejoins a workforce that has gotten younger, hipper, and much more computer literate since she's been away.

Before the ink on Mack's latest round of funding is dry, an errant text message hints that he may be working a bit too closely for comfort with a young social media manager in his office. When Mack's bad behavior collides with Katya's search for a salacious post, Sabrina gets caught in the middle as TakeOff goes viral for all the wrong reasons. As the fallout from Mack's scandal engulfs the lower Manhattan office building where all three work, it's up to Katya and Sabrina to write the story the men in their lives would prefer remain untold.

An assured, observant debut from veteran online journalist Doree Shafrir, Startup is a sharp, hugely entertaining story of youth, ambition, love, money, and technology's inability to hack human nature.

©2017 Doree Shafrir (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Exacting, though not without empathy - Shafrir renders even the most infuriating of her characters with unexpected humanity - the novel is a page-turning pleasure that packs a punch. To call it expertly observed is an understatement." (Kirkus)
"[A] deliciously detailed satire." (Jenny Comita, W Magazine)
"Don't buy this book. Don't open. Don't start reading it. Because if you do, I can assure you, you won't be able to put it down. I was hooked from the first page and found myself lost in a beautifully-written fiction that so succinctly echoes today's bizarre reality." (Nick Bilton, special correspondent, Vanity Fair, and author of Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Story

Critically important story about Diversity in Tech

Incredible narrator and a critical story about sexism and racism in tech and startup culture. The way this story covers so many aspects like the Pipeline problem excuse, the way uneven distribution of childcare duties plays out, power dynamics, sexual harassment, double standards, online harassment, mansplaining, nice guys in tech, calling women who disagree with you crazy, etc so effortlessly and complexly is incredible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An okay read.

not a fan of the ending... it was an okay book I just feel it ended quite abruptly and there was no character development.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • rob
  • Salem, MA
  • 01-08-18

Loved it

I couldn’t stop listening. I needed to know what would happen next. Doree is an amazing writer and hope she has a sequel coming soon.

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Is this my life?

Loved the variety of characters. I could relate to one on a deep level it was as if Doree had known my life. Highly recommend and can’t wait for the next part of the story!

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3 NY Silicon Alley Story/5 Narration Stars

3 "New York Silicon Alley" Stars and 5 Stars for the narration.

An interesting view of NYC's start-up tech culture and how journalism has evolved in the modern technology age. Definitely paints a narcisistic view of tech founders. Sexual harassment also features prominently as a theme in two co-worker relationships.

My biggest issue with the story, is that it ends abruptly with no conclusion.

Great narration though. The narrator, Eliana Marianes, is super talented with multiple accents and completely distinguishable character appropriate voices.

Source: Audible purchase for book club discussion.

Audible 20 Review Sweepstakes Entry

  • Overall
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Couldn't stop listening!

Biting satire, well developed characters, thoughtful narration. Loved reading about these strong, smart ladies navigating the NY startup scene. Well done Doree and nicely performed Eliana!

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The art of writing nothing, with no story line or purpose

Ok that a novel does not have to have a real story, good writing or purpose. Many readers will probably like the somewhat potential resemblance to what could be consider present reality, but if the purpose of choosing the book is to experience a real story, with even minimal meaning, or at least good narrative, disappointment is guaranteed.

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Wow I am exhausted

This lady talked so fast it's crazy, occasionally she actually slows down enough you can understand her. Seems like 13 year rant about tech that is hardly understood

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Definitely read this book

I blasted through this book, which was simultaneously well written, entertaining, light, but also thought-provoking and interesting. Amazing narration, although it felt a bit quick at the beginning. Very very very good book, I would highly recommend

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Glad I didn't take the time to read this book and listened instead

I liked the basic idea for the book, however, it took a turn part way through that didn't really make sense and then it never really had an ending... it was just finished without wrapping up the character plots. That said, if there was a second book, I probably wouldn't read it/listen to it to find out how it does end. Imagining the writing, I am glad I chose to listen to this book and didn't try to read it, as it was very simple and may have lost me altogether out of boredom.
The narrator is good, but not my favourite for this particular story... some of the voices were a bit more distracting than they were helpful to listen to which made me annoyed with some of the characters, if only due to the voices used.