Book Review of The Boys’ Club by Erica Katz

The Boys’ Club by Erica Katz

416 pages

ISBN: 9780062961488

Published: 8/4/20 by Harper

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Rating: 3 out of 5.

B&N | Book Depository

*click on photos to view original source*

Sweetbitter meets The Firm in this buzzy, page-turning debut novel—already optioned to Netflix—about sex and power in the halls of corporate America.

Alex Vogel has always been a high achiever who lived her life by the book—star student and athlete in high school, prelaw whiz in college, Harvard Law School degree. Accepting a dream offer at the prestigious Manhattan law firm of Klasko & Fitch, she promises her sweet and supportive longtime boyfriend that the job won’t change her. Yet Alex is seduced by the firm’s money and energy . . . and by her cocksure male colleagues, who quickly take notice of the new girl. She’s never felt so confident and powerful—even the innuendo-laced banter with clients feels fun. In the firm’s most profitable and competitive division, Mergers and Acquisitions, Alex works around the clock, racking up billable hours and entertaining clients late into the evening. While the job is punishing, it has its perks, like a weekend trip to Miami, a ride in a client’s private jet, and more expense-account meals than she can count. 

But as her clients’ expectations and demands on her increase, and Alex finds herself magnetically drawn to a handsome coworker despite her loving relationship at home, she begins to question everything—including herself. She knows the corporate world isn’t black and white, and that to reach the top means playing by different rules. But who made those rules? And what if the system rigged so that women can’t win, anyway? 

When something happens that reveals the dark reality of the firm, Alex comes to understand the ways women like her are told—explicitly and implicitly—how they need to behave to succeed in the workplace. Now, she can no longer stand by silently—even if doing what’s right means putting everything on the line to expose the shocking truth.

Thank you to HarperCollins and NetGalley for the early digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

Either you’re going to be perfect or you’re going to be alive. Can’t be both.

› There’s something about lawyers / courtroom settings that really intrigues me. I’ve had my eyes on this once since it was first put on NetGalley, and I immediately requested it.

› The beginning of the book is actually really good. It starts off with her getting ready for her first day at the new law firm, and she can’t decide what to wear. It’s also very clear that her boyfriend, Sam, doesn’t 100% support her. He definitely hesitates in the support department. After her first day, she questions whether she even wants to be a lawyer. It’s mainly because she made a lot of mistakes, such as accidentally calling 911.

› Once she moves up to M&A, the book completely changes. I still turned the pages because it continued to keep me interested, but Alex managed to get on my very last nerve. She tries to get into M&A for the wrong reasons. She does it to prove she’s “better” at the job than Carmen—another new girl at the firm that Alex went to law school with. Given, Carmen wasn’t always good to Alex. That’s what I got out of it, anyway. That feeling went away as she got to know the men in the firm. She became a morally gray character, which doesn’t make or break a book for me, but she wasn’t an interesting one. She just cheats on her boyfriend with a man who sleeps around. That’s a hard no for me.

› There is quite a bit of sexual harassment / assault in this book, which didn’t surprise me. Of course, the egotistical men of the novel made it seem like Alex had to endure it.

I watched his lips moving, and in a crystal-clear moment, I saw it: my cheating with a serial adulterer, my assault by a rich scumbag, my entire existence in corporate America, was just so . . . typical.

› It becomes clear to her that she doesn’t have to put up with it, but that happens at the end of the novel. Unfortunately, this book doesn’t have the type of ending I expected. I didn’t really know where the book was going when I started it. It’s not one that has a clear end in sight. I will say that there’s no justice, but there is a glimmer of hope and determination. That’s all I’ll say about that. That doesn’t mean that I enjoyed the ending. I thought it was on the cheaper side, and it didn’t make the novel anymore interesting. It just didn’t seem to fit with the tone of the book.

› One last note about what’s inside: Gary Kaplan can take a long walk off a short pier. Thank you and goodnight. 🙂

› I didn’t have any issues with the writing style. I wouldn’t mind reading another novel by Katz. I believe she’s also involved in law. I can’t confirm or deny that the information about law is right or wrong, as I am not a lawyer. I will say that the jargon went right over my head, as I had expected.

› Would I recommend this one? Sure. I know a lot of people enjoyed it.

Triggers: cheating, lying, sexual assault / harassment, drugs.

Erica Katz is the pseudonym for a graduate of Columbia Law School who began her career at a major Manhattan law firm. A native of New Jersey, she now lives in New York City, where she’s employed at another large law firm. The Boys’ Club is her first novel.

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Four (Sad) Mini Book Reviews + 1 DNF

Hello, friends! I hope you’re all doing well and staying healthy. I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much on here. I haven’t been in the mood to write full-length reviews. The books I’ve been reading lately haven’t been that great. I have one on here that is a four-star rating, and the rest of them are three and under. I haven’t been finishing as many books as I would like to, but I think I’m just not reading books that excite me.

Let’s start with the DNF, and work our way up from there–end on a positive note.

Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas.


First of all, I tried my hardest with this one. I read roughly 80 pages with my own eyes, and I tried to listening to it the rest of the way, but I made to page 133 and gave up. It wasn’t keeping me interested, and I didn’t care about anything that was going on. I don’t know if it’s this book, or if I’m just not in the romance mood. I want to move on from this one and maybe give Douglas another try in the distant future. I read Birthday Girl last year, I believe, and I loved it. I’m hoping this one just wasn’t for me and that’s all. I hope you all won’t take it personally.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Oh boy. Where do I start? Do I start with the obnoxious characters or the boring storytelling? I almost put this one down as well, but I thought that the ending might have something more to offer. Nope. I don’t think this could have ended in a more anticlimactic way. Hal (Harriet) was stupid enough to go for something that she didn’t originally think was hers. There are also better jobs to work than tarot card readings. It wasn’t believable. That’s all I really have to say about this one. Moving right along. 

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Thank you to HarperCollins and NetGalley for the advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

Was this a generous rating? Probably. There is so much that happens in this book, some of it being completely weird, that I almost couldn’t keep up. There were parts that kept me interested enough to give this three stars. The writing style also saved it. I understand that it’s based on Erdrich’s grandfather, and that’s not what I’m basing this review on. It seems he lived an interesting life, and that’s where I’ll stop. This was long and boring, but I could see how a lot of readers would like it. There is some wisdom thrown around in the 450 pages. Nothing that really stuck with me, though. If you want to give it a try, then I support your decision.

The Last Affair by Margot Hunt

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I’m not sure why I awarded this one a three-star rating. It’s probably more of a two star, but it kept me entertained… I guess. It’s very predictable, and all the characters are horrible people. The writing isn’t special, and I knew who did what as soon as the character was introduced. I think this would be perfect for someone starting out in the thriller genre. It isn’t the worst thriller out there. 

The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Doubleday and NetGalley for the advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

Listen, I’m not going to sit here and say that this isn’t a weird ass book. I also didn’t expect this to involve rats—2020 is the year of the rat—and a pandemic, but here we are. The characters are very distinguishable, but they do fall a little flat. There are not a lot of character arcs happening. I thought it was such a fun adventure that I’ve never read about. Bohjalian is out here doing some weird stuff, but I’m not here to judge. I’m just here to read the “weird stuff.” If you’re into rats and pandemics, then drag this one off of your shelves and break it open. You heard it here first, folks. 

I hope this wasn’t too sad of a post. I’ve been in a very honest mood lately. I want to be more critical of my books. I want my reviews and ratings to represent who I am as a reader. I know that some of these might your favorite books, and I’m not saying they can’t be. These didn’t really work for me, and that’s okay too. I’m planning on taking my time with my reviews from here on out. I always feel like I need to rush through them so I can get a blog post up. I want to love my content, and that’s what I’m deciding to do.

If you enjoyed this, then give it a like and follow my blog. Be respectful and happy reading!

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