cover image I’ll Get Back to You

I’ll Get Back to You

Becca Grischow. Penguin Books, $19 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-14-313841-9

Grischow’s debut is as self-assured and charming as her protagonist desperately wishes she herself were. Three years into a marketing degree and Murphy can’t catch a break. Her best friend Kat has transferred from their community college to the University of Illinois, while Murphy is stuck in their little hometown and her parents’ house until she can pass accounting and make the same move. Then Kat comes back for Thanksgiving with a boyfriend and a life that doesn’t seem to have space for Murphy in it anymore. While feeling hurt and abandoned, Murphy meets funny, artsy, super-attractive Ellie, who’s also back home for Thanksgiving and reeling from a recent breakup. The pair bond over a night of sharing their woes, after which Murphy realizes that Ellie’s mother is her accounting professor, who notoriously goes easy on her favorites. So they make a deal: Murphy will pretend to be Ellie’s girlfriend, since Ellie didn’t have the courage to tell her parents she was dumped. They’ll use the ruse to talk Ellie’s parents into letting her attend the grad school program of her dreams and to get Murphy enough good graces for a passing grade. But only pretending to love Ellie turns out to be much harder than it looks. Grischow’s take on fake dating is compulsively readable, funny, and full of heart. Readers will fall for this as fast as Murphy falls for Ellie. Agent: Dana Murphy, Trellis Literary. (Sept.)