Rating: 4 out of 5.

I love this book. It starts off slowly, setting the scene and giving the reader a glimpse into Darren’s safe, predictable life working as a shift manager at Starbucks and spending time with his mother and girlfriend. One day he gets recruited to be a salesperson in an elite, cut-throat start-up company, and that’s when the pace of the book takes off and doesn’t slow down until the end. Darren is the only African American person in the company, and his supervisor nicknames him “Buck”. The running “joke” throughout the book is that various colleagues tell him he looks like one or another African American actor. Buck is taken under the wing of the company CEO and once he begins work, the two become close.

After a tragedy occurs both at work and home, the wheels start to fall off Buck’s life. He starts to quickly spiral downward until a chance encounter causes him to focus on giving back to his community by secretly training other eager African American people to succeed in sales like he did. As more of his trainees begin entering the work force, a past enemy arises to challenge his efforts.

I really enjoyed this book and devoured it in one sitting. The writing is sharp and Buck’s character arc is wonderful to read. My only criticism is that the last few chapters seemed to really veer out into left field and the reader is asked to suspend disbelief to accept these events. I didn’t care for this part of the book, but others may have a different opinion.

Overall, this is a fun book to read and I recommend you pick up a copy.

Thank you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.