#PublicationDay #romcom #BookReview | The Second You’re Single by Cara Tanamachi

Most Anticipated Romance by Buzzfeed

Cheerfully irreverent, bitingly funny, and filled with romantic charm, Cara Tanamachi’s The Second You’re Single is all about navigating the most romantic month of the year, and how love always seems to arrive when you least expect it.

Freelance writer Sora Reid believes in inertia. She’s the odd one out in a close-knit family of go-getters, including her Japanese-American mom, who hints about her need to lose weight, and her soon-to-be married, overachieving younger sister, who needs her to have a date for the wedding, since a wedding party couples’ dance with their Scottish great uncle Bob simply won’t do. For Sora, minimal input, minimal expectations is the way to go. She’d rather stay at home with her insufferable neighbor and her adorable pitbull.

The one thing that disrupts her inertia: an intense dislike for Valentine’s Day. What is it with the commercial love machine? Why do we pin our hopes on one romantic day, when staying home with a package of bacon and a bottle of tequila would be way better? Sora’s been betrayed and disappointed more than once and her heart is starting to feel like her Grandma Mitsuye’s antique Japanese ceramic bowl, with its many gold-filled cracks.

When her pledge to stay single in February inspires readers to #gosolo, Sora has a responsibility to empower her readers. But relationships aren’t built to last, so it shouldn’t be that hard. Right?

Enter Jack Mann. A muscle-bound baker who looks like he lifts logs on the weekends, Sora hasn’t thought of Jack since they were in elementary school together. When they see each other at the local grocery store and the attraction hits hard, Sora knows she has to shut it down, quick. She can’t #gosolo AND get the guy. She can’t let down her readers. And relationships always end, so why should Jack be any different–even though he’s confounding all her long-held expectations of love?

“Riotous, whip-smart, and original. Read this happy-making book if you love yourself.” —Jayci Lee, Author of Booked on a Feeling

What’s it about (in a nutshell):

The Second You’re Single by Cara Tanamachi is a cheeky romantic comedy about a writer, Sora Reid, and her decision to #gosolo for the entire month of February. It was just a creative idea for an article until the hashtag went viral, and Sora felt obligated to see it through. This wouldn’t be a problem, except Jack Mann walks back into her life and all she wants to do is call the whole thing off. With her job and followers on the line, how will Sora navigate this path she has placed herself on? 

Actual Reading Experience:

I always love a story about writers and anyone in the literary world. Sora is a writer for an online magazine, not really by choice, but still, she tries to make the best of it. Her inner and outer voices are so sarcastic and funny, and I adored that about her. She also has almost made a sport of being unlucky in the love department.

I also enjoyed the average size woman representation. She is not stick-thin like her sister, and her mom always makes a veiled reference to her weight, but she is a normal-sized woman in this world and she makes no excuses for it or allows herself to be shamed of it. And that is always a refreshing attitude to read about. She does, however, refer to bacon a tad too much. We all love bacon. On that, I think we can agree.

I also loved the diversity represented in this story. Sora is half Asian and has friends representing BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities. It’s always realistic and relatable to have diversity in the story, so I think this added an element that is much needed.


I just loved Sora’s voice in this story. She is downright cheeky and, oh, so funny. She is also a well-developed character who has many complexities and

nuances. She’s a puzzle just waiting to be solved. Sora hasn’t had an easy time with well anything. Dating, family, and career have all been thorns in her side as she waits for the right man and job, as well as for her family’s understanding and acceptance.

Narration & Pacing:

Narration is where I had more concerning issues with the story and the reason for my three-star rating. Though Sora’s first-person narration is a bitingly funny look at dating, family, and career, Jack’s narration is awkward and hard to read. I couldn’t find a clear voice for Jack in his chapters, and I didn’t enjoy them or even him as a character. He felt too shallow, and if he was going to be the leading man, he needed depth for me to enjoy him and his story.  


The setting is Chicago, but it does not play a big part in the story. The only thing uniquely Chicago was Sora’s home, and everything else could have been anywhere.

Read if you like:

  • Guy Falls First trope.
  • Sarcastic main characters
  • Friends to Lovers romances

Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Writing Quality5
Character Development6
‘Couldn’t Put It Down’-ness5
Use of Setting4
All scores, except the overall rating, are on a scale of 1-10. The overall rating is converted to the standard 5-point system.

14 Replies to “#PublicationDay #romcom #BookReview | The Second You’re Single by Cara Tanamachi”

  1. I like the sound of this – I’m all for cheeky characters. That’s too bad about Jack’s character, and I get what you mean. I have to like the other half of the couple, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a good read, and sometimes it is easier to identify with a female voice, rather than a male one. When I wrote my play ”The Kingswood Beast” it was difficult to write from a male perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a shame the male protagonist let this one down, it was ticking all my boxes until you mentioned that. In many romcoms with strong heroines, I’ve found that the male hero can feel quite bland.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Lady Tessa Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.