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Publisher's Summary

“Laura Blackett and Eve Gleichman are linguistic magicians, and their sparkling debut manages to expose the hollowness of well-being jargon while exploring, with tender care and precision, how we dare to move on after unspeakable loss . . . [They have] constructed a mirrored fun house, one that leads us down different paths, each masterfully tied up at the end, yet reflecting and refracting our own quirky selves.”
New York Times Book Review, An Editors' Choice

“A very funny debut — and perhaps the most original office satire of the year.”
Washington Post

For fans of Elinor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and Severance: an offbeat, wryly funny debut novel that follows an eccentric product engineer who works for a hip furniture company where sweeping corporate change lands her under the purview of a startlingly charismatic boss who seems determined to get close to her at all costs . . .

Ava Simon designs storage boxes for STÄDA, a slick Brooklyn-based furniture company. She’s hard-working, obsessive, and heartbroken from a tragedy that killed her girlfriend and upended her life. It’s been years since she’s let anyone in.

But when Ava’s new boss—the young and magnetic Mat Putnam—offers Ava a ride home one afternoon, an unlikely relationship blossoms. Ava remembers how rewarding it can be to open up—and, despite her instincts, she becomes enamored. But Mat isn’t who he claims to be, and the romance takes a sharp turn.

The Very Nice Box is a funny, suspenseful debut—with a shocking twist. It’s at once a send-up of male entitlement and a big-hearted account of grief, friendship, and trust.

©2021 Eve Gleichman (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

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What listeners say about The Very Nice Box

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

It was good

I like books that are realistic. This one is definitely not a run of the mill rom com that I thought it was. It got cringy at the end. It is very well written, the story flows nicely. The narrator does a good job. Again, just.. if you are looking for a feel good book, this is not that book.

2 people found this helpful

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a fun, quirky story

This is a very clever story which pokes fun at the Gen Xer workforce lifestyle trend. For example, authors Laura Blackett and Eve Gleichman uses a digital psychotherapy app service, similar to the new and trendy Woebot app (google it!) and spoofs the app in this story, “The Very Nice Box”. These authors have created one of the funniest workplace stories. This story is about a furniture company creating functional household items with fun, New-Agey names like: the tranquil clock; the studious backpack; the peaceful headphones; the cozy nesting tables. And the storage metaphors…..too funny! These beauties are peppered throughout the story, making me smile or guffaw. The New-Agey doesn’t end there. There are spirit staffers, a Wellness Kitchen, Positivity Mandates, and self-care directives.

So, it’s a silly, quirky story with an eccentric main character. Ava Simon is a highly regarded design engineer. She’s known for her designs of storage boxes. Ava is diligent, hardworking, and laser focused. She is charged with designing the Very Nice Box. And it’s a box…not a bin. Ava is struggling with anxiety and depression after enduring a fatal car accident, killing her parents and her girlfriend. She lives under a cloud of grief.

Soon after the story begins, Ava gets a new boss who is much younger than her. His name is Mathew Putnam and he is the antithesis of Ava. He’s loud and gregarious. From the start, he decides he’s going to get Ava out of her shell.

It flies into a silly rom-com story of Ava and Mat’s work ethics colliding. Hidden in the comedy are themes such as overcoming trauma, heart versus intellect, form vs function, corporate environmental greed, and friendship and trust.

A major plot twist makes this into a thriller. All in all, it’s a gloriously fun story.

I listened to the audio narrated by Rebecca Lowman. She is outstanding.

1 person found this helpful

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Thought-provoking but way too long

Author is grinding an ax at several issues--corporate greed, self-help programs, ways companies try to build loyalty, grief.... If she had concentrated on one or two, perhaps keeping the focus on the workplace, the story would have been tighter and more powerful.

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Spoof/love story/creepy thriller/comedy/Really fun

Girl meets boy while working at a hilariously spoofed IKEA clone. Is boy really a creepy stalker? A really menacing turn in the story here almost made me quit, as I do not like to be scared. Then a whiplash turn to comedy, then a happy ending. It's a really fun book by a couple of really fresh authors.

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Not what you initially think it is

A tragic accident closes Eva into a box similar to the one she designs as an engineer. This is her journey on unboxing, and learning to live again.

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Drama at upscale IKEA

Intriguing plot with many wonderful imaginative images surrounding an upscale scan furniture design company. The underlying plot is a good vehicle to showcase a place and people who could certainly be real and to highlight a good sense of ironic humor.