VERY NICE by Marcy Dermansky

From the Jacket

Rachel Klein never meant to kiss her creative writing professor, but with his long eyelashes, his silky hair, and the sad, beautiful life he laid bare on Twitter, she does, and the kiss is very nice.  Zahid Azzam never planned to become a houseguest in his student’s sprawling Connecticut home, but with the sparkling swimming pool, the endless supply of Whole Foods strawberries, and Rachel’s beautiful mother, he does, and the home is very nice.  Becca Klein never thought she’d have a love affair so soon after her divorce, but when her daughter’s professor walks into her home, bringing with him an apricot standard poodle named Princess, she does, and the affair is . . . a very bad idea.

My Thoughts

VERY NICE is such a bizarre little book that I honestly don’t even know how to describe it.  I’ve been sitting on writing up my thoughts for forever because I’m still not sure of what I want to say!  My general feeling is that VERY NICE is a rip-roaring good time and I definitely had lots of fun reading it, but I’m still not convinced I liked it, if that makes any sense?

“He was incredibly beautiful, my professor, like his dog.  Together, they were a breathtaking pair.”

VERY NICE starts out seemingly normal–a student in love with her professor goes home for the summer, the professor falls in love with her mother, you know, the usual–until around the halfway point when it transitions into something I absolutely was not expecting.  Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that VERY NICE approaches the topic of gun violence and mass shootings with an extremely critical yet sympathetic eye.  It’s full of unlikable characters behaving terribly, in a way that becomes completely central to the story, but if you’re one of those readers who can’t stand books with horrible, selfish main characters, maybe avoid this one!

As I’m sure you can gather from this mess of a review, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around VERY NICE!  It’s a quick and entertaining read with a fun, surprising plot acted out by senselessly terrible characters.  Though I’m still not convinced I liked it, I had an absolute blast pouring through the pages of this book.


  1. Literary Elephant

    Ooh, intriguing! I’ve had this on my TBR for months but I’ve hardly seen any reviews for it- the unlikable characters and unexpected thematic shift perhaps explain the lack of attention it’s been getting, but those aspects make me even more excited to read this! I adore bizzare books about difficult people. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one!

    Liked by 1 person

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