Mack McAllister has a $600 million dollar 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 dollar 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 work force 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 the 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.
PRAISE FOR STARTUP
"Is there a satirist alive more brilliant — and more insightful — than Doree Shafrir? That I tore through STARTUP in a single day — ignoring the cries of my children and the dinging of my phone, laughing with recognition at her characters' foibles-is perhaps not nearly as significant as the fact that this ridiculously compelling novel has haunted me, every minute, in the weeks that followed. If you have ever lived in New York or worked in an office, you will love this novel. If you love the novels of Tom Perrotta, you will love this novel. But also: If you are a sentient human, you will love this novel."―Joanna Rakoff, author of MY SALINGER YEAR and A FORTUNATE AGE"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 (Starred Review)"Though often wickedly witty, Startup is so much more than mere satire; it's smart, deeply empathetic novel genuinely interested in exploring the way we live now." — Rumaan Alam, author of RICH AND PRETTY
"This funny, empowering debut is chock-full of strong women transcending the workplace drama, sexual politics, and all-around dumb stuff the men in their life are doing. It’s a novel that just might spark the official feministing of startup culture. If I were a tech bro, I’d be shaking in my hoodie." — Camille Perri, author of THE ASSISTANTS
"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
"Doree Shafrir is so spot-on in her observations about the tech world that it's hard not to think this novel must be telling the juicy truth-and in a way it is. Sharp, compelling, and expertly written." — Jade Chang, author of THE WANGS VS. THE WORLD
"A funny, delicious and charming novel about the alternate reality of startups. #divine."― Delia Ephron, author of SIRACUSA
"Doree Shafrir's STARTUP is like a thrilling combination of Po Bronson's BOMBARDIERS and Jessica Knoll's LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE. Shafrir has set heartbreak and romance in the ticking clock environment of startups and the result is a topical, funny and perfectly observed document of our insane times." — Karl Taro Greenfeld, author of TRIBURBIA and THE SUBPRIMES