Do Your Worst by Rosie Danan
Published November 14, 2023- Berkley
Reviewed by Kate
Do Your Worst by Rosie Danan is a fun read. It’s one that is a little difficult for me to review, because I don’t have too many strong feelings about it. Do Your Worst has a good story and fun characters, but it has a few issues that hold it back from being an amazing read.
Overall, Do Your Worst is clever and the premise certainly isn’t something you’ll have read about a bunch of times already. A curse breaker and a disgraced archeologist? Sparks fly immediately. The set up is spectacular, and I loved the setting. While there are few other characters, the Scottish highlands castle vibes are strong and really set the scene. Riley and Clark are both really well developed characters, and I felt like I could understand both of their motivations and actions. The banter between Riley and Clark is spectacular, and easily one of my favorite parts of the book. Plus, there’s some great sexy scenes (including sex in a library) to spice things up.
The thing I really enjoyed about Do Your Worst was watching Riley and Clark really see each other. Seeing Clark as he realized Riley wasn’t running some con, and that she genuinely had the skills she purported, and watching Riley realize Clark wasn’t just a stuck up asshole, was really great. It felt so natural, and I had some moments where I just felt really good about how Riley and Clark’s relationship was progressing.
However, I think the thing that was hardest for me to accept in Do Your Worst is that Riley and Clark say some pretty awful things to each other throughout the course of the book and it just didn’t feel like they ever addressed those situations with each other. They frequently bicker with each other, but there are a few instances where they seem to go for the jugular, and it didn’t seem to me like there were enough apologies for the really mean comments.
I really like Danan’s writing and I like the way she can make the characters feel so real, but similar to my issues with her previous book, I felt like the pacing in Do Your Worst was a little off. It somehow felt both slow and fast at the same time. I never really felt like I was being sucked into the story, even though I was invested and I did like it.
I would definitely recommend Do Your Worst for somebody looking for a slightly spooky read, or a banter-filled enemies to lovers. I think with the above caveats, it’s an enjoyable experience!
Content notes: Riley’s dad left her family when she was young