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This Could Hurt

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  2,906 ratings  ·  439 reviews
Alternate cover edition can be found here

A funny and deeply felt novel that illuminates the pivotal role of work in our lives—a riveting fusion of The Nest, Up in the Air, and Then We Came to the End that captures the emotional complexities of five HR colleagues trying to balance ambition, hope, and fear as their small company is buffeted by economic forces that threaten t
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 9th 2018 by Harper
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Average rating 3.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,906 ratings  ·  439 reviews

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Larry H
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars for this one.

Things at Ellery Consumer Research Group haven't quite been the same since the crash of 2008. Even the HR department took its licks, shrinking from 22 to 16 to 13 people, then finally to 11. But even though promises of stability were made throughout the company, even a year later, times were tough, and rumors of more layoffs float throughout the halls.

Rosa Guerrero is the chief of human resources at Ellery, a woman who fought hard through the years to get where she is now.
This Could Hurt is focuses on a group of HR employees at Ellery, a large market research firm in New York City. The story takes place in 2008-2010, aka: the modern recession.

Rosa is the Chief of HR and her direct reports include Rob, Leo, Lucy, and Kenny. Rosa is proud of her rise to the top of the department and fully invested in her job and in her group. She can, however, blur the line between boss and friend, sometimes confusing her team. Leo and Lucy both feel they’re invaluable to Rosa, fo
Ron Charles
Jillian Medoff knows corporate America intimately. She once worked for Deloitte, the multinational professional services network that exists so that Don DeLillo doesn’t have to invent it. In addition to three previous novels, Medoff’s résumé includes stints as a management consultant, a communication strategist and all manner of related workplace necromancy. The cover of her new novel, “This Could Hurt,” is an employee termination checklist.

The story opens in 2009, amid the wreckage of the Great
Marcy Dermansky
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am lucky to have gotten the chance to red Jillian's new book before its release. I even blurbed it. This is what I wrote -- and mean every word.

Searing, sexy and surprisingly funny, Jillian Medoff’s This Could Hurt burns through the pages. No one is safe in this cruel but compassionate take on corporate America. I loved it.
Nov 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s obvious that Jillian Medoff knows whereof she writes. Anyone who has ever been in a corporate environment will instantly recognize the truths that serve as the foundation for this plot. Many of us have either worked at a company like Ellery Consumer Research Group or have known friends who have.

So, if the characters seem just a tad bit stereotypical, it’s for good reason. Rosa Guerrero is the widowed and childless HR Chief who is fiercely loyal to her staff, who serve as substitute family t
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This Could Hurt is a fully cast, candidly humorous journey through corporate office culture in the years following the Great Recession. Conceptually, Medoff really makes the most of her setting, and deftly highlights the specific career anxiety people felt post-2008.

In most novels with 3+ narrators, I find myself preferring one or two of the voices, and skimming the other chapters to get back to these stories. For all of this book’s nearly 400 pages, I was engaged and invested in each character
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't enjoyed a workplace novel this much since Then We Came to the End, and in many ways, the books reminded me of each other: biting, insightful, sardonic, fulfilling, unputdownable. Medoff juggles multiple characters deftly and carefully draws out their complicated inner-lives until you are rooting for (nearly) each and every one of them, even with their foibles and flaws. And the epilogue! Oh, I grinned from ear to ear on that last page. Bravo.
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I waffled a lot more than usual on the rating here. It’s a soft 4 stars, but it I’m keeping it there largely because I’m still thinking about the story and characters after a few days.

This was an airport purchase, a travel read, and it filled the purpose of distracting me without boring me.

The characters and story had to grow on me. My initial reaction, which never went away but was eventually diluted by the evolving complexities of character and plot, was that these corporate buffoons were th
Cindy Roesel
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THIS COULD HURT (Harper) by Jillian Medoff is an inspired satire on something we all (well, mostly all) have to do daily! Go to work! For the people working peeps in the Human Resources department of the Ellery Consumer Research Group, sometimes it’s a good day, sometimes bad, but at Ellery, it's never boring!
Five somewhat dysfunctional people work hard, hoping to stay employed while the economy shifts making layoffs more realistic than ever being told, "Good job." Rosa Guerrero, Chief Executiv
I started reading this and literally couldn't put it down. Medoff has written a novel that is relatable, accessible, and quite masterful in the telling of the ordinary lives of coworkers in a corporate human resources department. I have never worked in human resources or a corporate environment, and still found this highly relatable. From work spouses, to inter-office politics, Medoff shows the humanity and highly personal relationships in a place that is supposed to be very professional and gua ...more
Jessica Woodbury
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
I don't think there are enough workplace novels, so I'm much more likely to pick one up when I see one than your average book. THIS COULD HURT is billed as heartwarming, but for me most of the book was more of a can't-look-away-from-the-car-wreck kind of experience. These characters are basically my worst fears in coworkers embodied and I kept thinking that if I was their boss I'd fire all of them. It's clear that this is not supposed to be my reaction, the book is billed as heartwarming and fun ...more
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Warm, funny, enchanting, intriguing... What words of praise could one not use about this book? Jillian Medoff takes what seems on its face a rather mundane topic--corporate human resources--and fashions a tale about the behind-the-scenes machinations that's thoroughly engaging yet heart-achingly and gut-bustingly real. The characters are so fully formed and well written that you'll come to feel you've truly spent time with these people. This is a can't-miss read whether you've worked in the corp ...more
Kasa Cotugno
Ten years ago Joshua Ferris wrote And Then We Came to the End, a debut that won several awards, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and in retrospect was almost eerily prescient in that it predated the financial upheavals of 2008-09. Related in the second person, it was groundbreaking in that it focused on the inner workings of a company's demise and its effect on the employees. Unfortunately I couldn't step away from comparing this much more detailed, bloated and repetitive treatment of ...more
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jillian Medoff is one of my favorite writer. Her new novel is a warm, witty look at modern office life that anyone who has ever come near corporate politics (and even those who haven't) will adore. Her quirky characters and their all-too-human relationships will stay with you long after you finish the book.
Karen Bergreen
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was obsessed with this book from page one. Medoff reminds me of Franzen, although she is less judgmental in her writing. At first read, I felt as if I were spying on a bunch of very psychologically interesting characters. And then, all of a sudden, I found myself very emotionally attached--both to them and the story. A day after I finished, I found myself missing the characters.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
This felt very much like the author came up with a great premise for a novel — workplace inner workings — got great momentum going, then about halfway through had no idea what to do with it, so she just started rambling. Writing teetered on the brink of impressive, but faltered and failed in the end. Don’t waste your time.
Kristen Beverly
Really loved this book. Super cute & let’s be honest - we all work with people like Rob, Lucy, Leo and Rosa! We know them all! It’s like a Book version of The Office, but with more heart & less Dwight. ...more
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Much too long and repetitive - I started not to care about the characters about midway through. It starts out strong and interesting as Rosa, the head honcho, tries to save her department, develop her employees and nurture her work 'family'. Then, it slows down considerably as we get the back story of many, many players. I ended up skipping some of those aspects of the book because I became bored and only wanted to know what happened to two of the characters.
Sadly, it's been my experience that
Courtney Maum
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely heartwarming!
Linda Zagon
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

My Review of “This Could Hurt” by Jillian Medoff

Jillian Medoff , Author of “This Could Hurt”, has written a unique and intriguing novel that combines big business with personal lives. The genre of this novel is fiction.Jillian Medoff describes her characters as complex, complicated, lonely, confused, flawed and emotional perhaps due to the circumstances of the times.

In our society, everyone has to work to pay the bills, and some people are lucky to find a job that offers them everything that the
Helen Dunn
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked about 90% of this workplace drama. It got a little ridiculous at points but the underlying idea of how you spend so much time with your co-workers that they are almost family and yet there is so much you don’t know and the relationships are so tied to the office they almost never survive without it.

I think the author lost steam on some threads and abandoned them which I found frustrating and she spent too much time on unnecessary footnotes which I found annoying and gimmicky.

Overall th
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really good work drama. Sucked me in almost immediately. I've never read a book that focused solely on relationships and issues at work. This one definitely piqued my interest and I'm looking forward to more.
switterbug (Betsey)
This has to be the only novel I know of that centers on Human Resources, a department in the workplace that is often mystifying to me (especially as I’ve worked at some places where HR personnel were the most brutal and unkind). I found it an original idea, so decided to check it out. Medoff does is effective at solidifying characters so that they leap from the pages. Also, the manner in which your work family can be supportive, dysfunctional, or betraying, just like a home family, is a clear th ...more
Ann Bauer
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a bound manuscript of this novel (due out early next year) and loved it. This Could Hurt reminded me of the Bildungromans of the 1980s and 90s—set in the financial district of New York, using business and the drama of everyday to reveal characters...heroes, really...and how they succeed in their own small, valiant ways. It addresses issues of loyalty, ethics, friendship and romance. It's also compulsively easy to read. The story is told from several points of view, male and female, ol ...more
Linda Rae
Feb 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
2/11: I am over 25% through and if there is an actual plot I would certainly appreciate that it get started!

2/15: OK now I am over 60% into this and it is going to be my first DNF of 2018. This book is a mess. The situations are unrealistic and I just don't care about the characters. The whole arc with Rosa is ridiculous and who cares about Kenny and his marriage. The funny thing is that although this is a book about an HR Department they don't actually interact with any employees!

If you want to
Jaclyn Crupi
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love books about corporate/work/office life and the absurdity of corporate/work/office life and yet there are so few good ones. It’s hard to write a strong novel about how so many people spend their time. Joshua Ferris managed it as did Jessica Winter, Paul Murray and Michael Chabon. And now Jillian Medoff. This book felt incredibly real and revealing about who we really are and how we think and operate in professional and personal settings. I loved it.
Lynn Schnurnberger
I was luckily enough to read this book in manuscript and couldn't put it down. Office intrigue, compelling characters, a plot wrapped around the byzantine world of office politics. At times touching, funny and always on-spot observational, Jillian Medoff has created another wonderful book that old readers and new will want to get their hands on.
Victoria Skurnick
This is the richest, most well-written novel I've read in years. it has the complexity and depth of a 19th century masterwork, yet its hip factor is a million. It is an unforgettable and heartening book, and I have been recommending to friends since I put the manuscript down.
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I could relate. I used to work in Human Resources back in the day. We had a gay guy, a Jewish guy, a black gal, and others. We did NOT have a boss with a heart, though. I’m surprised that there aren’t more books written about the workplace since almost everybody works!
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
The description sells the book as humorous but I’m afraid the humor was really dressed as realism. The story is really a time period after the 2008 bust. People are skittish, morale is low, but Rosa takes her job very seriously to somehow balance the cut throat corporate world while keeping her employees best interest at heart.

This is an unexpected novel. While Rosa is feeling the stress of doing what she believes is best, she is pushing those who could do better, and bearing her own low morale
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Jillian Medoff's new novel, THIS COULD HURT, is a blistering, hilarious dissection of corporate culture.

Along with writing novels, Jillian has a successful career in management consulting and corporate communications. She’s worked for a wide range of employers across multiple industries, including Deloitte, Aon, Revlon, Max Factor and Medco.

Jillian is the acclaimed author of I COULDN’T LOVE YOU

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“Kenny’s career trajectory had been a frenetic scramble, with personality conflicts, professional counseling, and extended periods of unemployment along the way. At Wharton, his devotion to studying was legendary. If a subject intrigued him, he’d work seventy-two hours at a clip, with a laser focus that could bend the world’s edges. School was a sanctuary where he chased ideas like rabbits down into whatever random, circuitous holes they traveled. In retrospect, he should’ve stayed for his PhD and become an academic, worn open-collared shirts, comfortable shoes. Instead, he listened to Janine and went high-ticket corporate, only to discover that he wasn’t cut out for the real world. Out here, smart people were made to repeat the same simple tasks over and over until all their intelligence drained out. Out here, Kenny couldn’t get traction. His attention wandered, his already poor listening skills deteriorated. He lost track of time. Missed deadlines.” 0 likes
“Having no choices, no agency, was a killer, but having too many was equally crippling.” 0 likes
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