“A digital age Edith Wharton . . . hilarious, exhilarating, and so, so clever.” –Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians
**A Huffington Post, New York Post and Metro Summer Reading Pick**
The Underwriting is a tantalizing glimpse into the boardrooms and bedrooms of six young hopefuls behind a Silicon Valley IPO that will launch them into the exclusive world of the über-wealthy—if it doesn’t destroy them first. Each of them is looking for success, but they may have to nail more than the deal to get to the top.
Wall Street hotshot and playboy Todd Kent is not surprised when Hook’s eccentric founder taps him to lead the deal of the decade: taking the multibillion-dollar dating app public. Hook has been helping Todd score with women since its inception and now it’s poised to make his career. Given just two months to pull it off, Todd assembles his investment banking team—brainy Neha, party-boy Beau, and, a surprise choice, old college flame Tara Taylor.
Tara runs six miles every morning, never eats after nine p.m., is the first to arrive and last to leave the office, but is starting to wonder why she bothers. When Todd asks her to help with Hook’s IPO, she sees her opportunity to break through the glass ceiling and justify six boyfriendless years of sacrifices for her career. She quickly realizes the dating app has more in store for her than a bigger bonus.
The stars are finally aligning for Nick Winthrop. Rejected from SAE rush at Stanford by Todd Kent, Nick is now a Harvard Business School graduate and Hook’s CFO, with a chip on his shoulder even bigger than his ego. Now that Hook is going public and $80 million is about to come his way, the life Nick knows he deserves is finally at his fingertips.
But when a young woman dies, it threatens to throw the deal—and the lives of those involved—into a thrilling tailspin. The Underwriting is an insightful and prescient glimpse into the inner workings of two generation-defining worlds and might be the most accurate depiction yet of the tech generation and the power it holds to shape the future.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The Underwriting takes you on a wild ride as it follows the preparations for the IPO of a fictional company called Hook, founders of a massively popular dating app. Former banker Michelle Miller makes great use of her insider’s knowledge of the worlds of New York finance and Silicon Valley tech, presenting her story from the perspectives of a diverse crew of twenty- and thirty-somethings involved in the hyped-up deal. Miller’s novel is impossible to put down—what hooked us was the juxtaposition of jaw-dropping scenes of excess, egotism, and bad behavior with raw emotions familiar to anyone who’s faced disillusionment.
Todd Kent is a high-powered Wall Street Millenial who thrives on large deals and casual sexual encounters. When he's asked by Josh Hart, CEO of online dating app Hook, to take his company public, he leaps at the chance. Todd brings in a small team to execute the billion-dollar deal, but quickly they all realize that they have different goals and desires and that the deal itself is brimming with intrigue and secrets. As the deal moves forward, people around it start to draw connections between the drug-related death of an undergraduate and the application, and it becomes clear that someone used Hook to cover up a murder. As they race to complete the IPO before anyone finds out, Todd and his team find out who is willing to risk everything for this deal. This taut thriller does combine the best of Millenial technologies and Wall Street greed, but it tries to be too many things to too many people. While readers will quickly discover that most of the characters aren't likable, they will want to find out what happens in the story. That said, it ends on a clumsy cliffhanger, leaving readers confused as to whether there is a next installment. There could be Miller, who worked at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, does an excellent job and leaves readers interested in what happens next. Readers, especially ones of an age with the characters, will find this a quick, entertaining read.
Very interesting & entertaining...but it ends w/a cliff-hanger and is half a book(!). I will read the sequel...but for the record, I really hate when authors/publishers don't make it clear a book is part of a "series". When did it become a crime to write a novel? I know it makes you more money, but it makes your readers (who would pay what you're hoping to make by serializing a book for one good novel) extremely frustrated!