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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

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Awful writing, racist performance

I’m not sure if this audiobook is a joke or not. The accents given by the narrator are nothing short of racist. They’re embarrassing stereotypes straight out of a blackface act. The novel itself is weak. The characters are flat. The story lacks clear motivation or any real arc. The description is amateurish. How did this awful novel get published? Don’t waste your time with this.

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Amazing must listen

Really is a top notch listen, the audiobook voice acting adds a lot of extra depth to the story.

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  • Joseph
  • 21-07-17

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Christine Chapman
  • 01-07-17

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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  • j. lopez
  • 18-05-17

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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  • James
  • 06-08-18

a good listen

liked it. as it progressed I got more and more interested even though you can see what's coming.
I wish the narrator would have not talked so fast. sometimes it felt like it was a race. she did do a good job with her character voices though.

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  • lauren
  • 27-06-18

Love this book!

I bought this book a day ago and I couldn’t stop reading it!! I finished the last 2 hours of the book on my morning commute today. I can’t wait to tell my friends about it.

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  • Siera N. Wigfield
  • 16-06-18

fun fast paced story.

I love the forever35 podcast, and this book is by one of the hosts. I liked the story and the characters were very well developed. I look forward to doree's next novel.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-04-18

Doree is brilliant

This book is a quick and easy read that keeps your attention to the very end. Looking forward to her next novel!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-03-18

Good book, not so good audio

I really enjoyed the story and couldn’t stop listening once I started. Only minus on this was the reader who spoke really fast. It would have been more enjoyable if it would have been read little bit slower pace. But nothing so bad that would have made me to stop listening and enjoying this awesome story. Can’t wait for Doree Shafrir’s new book to come out!

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  • rob
  • 08-01-18

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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  • azia thompson
  • 07-01-18

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!