Edwin Peng tells provocative, cliche-busting YA stories featuring badass Princesses, Aliens, & the great state of Nebraska

Shizzle, Inc (Isa Maxwell Escapade #1) by Ana Spoke - Book Review (Some Spoilers!)

Shizzle, Inc (Isa Maxwell Escapade #1) by Ana Spoke - Book Review (Some Spoilers!)

Here's my review of Shizzle, Inc by Ana Spoke (@SpokeAna). This review is also available at Goodreads.

This is the first book of the Isa Maxwell series.

How I Got This Book

I received a free Kindle copy from Amazon. I bought the Kindle copy of the second book in the series.

The Pitch

Funny chick lit about quirky millennial trying to make it big in the corporate world.


Recent community college graduate Isa Maxwell got the break of a lifetime when she became assistant to Mr. Hue, the eccentric billionaire CEO of Shizzle, Inc. But, this dream job quickly turns out to be more than she can handle. Isa has to deal with scheming jealous coworkers, Mr. Hue's crazy antics, and negotiating a major corporate merger. Her personal life becomes problematic as well, with her parents separating and various love interests. Finally, with some spunk and some help, Isa managed to make her short tenure at Shizzle, Inc a success.

The Good

Pleasantly surprised is an understatement. I never read "chick lit" or a "humor" novel before and I wasn't sure about Shizzle, Inc as I'm not the target audience. But, after the first couple pages I was laughing out loud!

Shizzle, Inc is not just "chick lit" - it's smart, pertinent, and hard-hitting social commentary that captures perfectly the woes my generation, the millennials, face. The protagonist is a blonde woman while I'm an Asian American man, but I relate very well to all the craziness Isa experienced. 

Burdensome student debt, increasing social-economic inequality, and broken families plague our generation. Shizzle, Inc provides a funny but thought-provoking take that's as good as a Daily Show or Last Week Tonight episode. 

Mr. Hue perfectly embodies the exploitative and egotistic modern CEO and Shizzle, Inc. perfectly embodies the modern corporation. From seeing longtime employees replaced by cheaper, younger workers to dealing with foreign companies (loved the Japanese merger scenes!) to crazy police privatization schemes, the reader can clearly recognize the problems of our current economic system. 

Isa is the perfect protagonist for such an imperfect world. She recognizes her own limitations and weaknesses, but nevertheless strives to succeed in her professional and personal life.

One other major plus for Shizzle, Inc. is the clever ways that it lampshades and subverts usual tropes. One of Isa's love interest turns out to be gay and the man that helped her with the big presentation was her father, not a lover.

The Bad

The only major thing I didn't like about this book was the ending. It wasn't much of an ending, but rather a hook for the second book. I totally understand the need for authors, especially Indie Authors who write such shorter "chick lit" books, to use the "first book free, buy second book" marketing strategy. Therefore, I won't complain too much (and definitely will read the sequel).

Overall Rating - 5 of 5

Very enjoyable read!

Social Satire Rating - 5 of 5

Smart, Last Week Tonight-esque social commentary!


2016 Fall Conference - Nebraska Writers Guild

2016 Fall Conference - Nebraska Writers Guild

First Professional Editing - Star City Progress Report

First Professional Editing - Star City Progress Report