cheryl's Reviews > This Could Hurt

This Could Hurt by Jillian Medoff
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really liked it

With organizational charts sprinkled throughout (and used as an epilogue), this book focuses on the members of the human resources team at a large, struggling services company. We meet a full cast of characters (the charts helped me keep track of who was who!) at various staged of their careers and their personal lives. Some live to work, some work to live. They are all navigating the complex balance between the two and facing the reality that working in an office means working with each other.

There were several places in this book where I stopped and read aloud to my husband (who is mid-career and getting a master's in an HR-related field), usually because a particular passage was at once humorous and observant. I've been in a few workplaces myself, and even worked in recruiting so have an HR element of my own, and I could imagine these characters in the office (or cubicle) next-door.

I can't say I like every character. I can't say they were all as full and round as I usually prefer. And a large part of the central plot didn't really ring real for me. There's a Weekend At Bernie's style plotline that serves to tie the rest of the book together and I didn't really care for it. But, while it was very much a central driving force, it was also largely a device to tie everything together -- so while I didn't necessarily buy into it, it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book.

But that was okay. Some books are nourishment, some are mind candy. Some are literature, some are...well...just books. This was the latter, but sometimes "just books" are perfect for your mood. They have an important place on a complete least for me...a "real" bookshelf versus one for show. It made me laugh and I enjoyed watching the relationships between the characters shift over time. This book was a fun diversion from a stressful time in my world (not work stress...though I can see this being particularly apt as a diversion from workplace drama).

4 stars. Review based on an ARC from the publisher provided in exchange for my honest thoughts.

P.S. Had to smile when I caught the HR chief struggling mightily with orders to rest and finding herself watching a tv movie called Hunger Point....since I group books by the same author together, this one will sit next to Medoff's novel, Hunger Point.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
December 10, 2017 – Shelved

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