Cult Classic by Sloane Crosley

Whip smart, hilarious, completely and utterly consuming — Sloane Crosley had me at hello.


One night in New York City’s Chinatown, a woman named Lola is at a work reunion dinner with former colleagues when she excuses herself to buy a pack of cigarettes. On her way back, she runs into a former boyfriend. And then another. And… another. Nothing is quite what it seems as the city becomes awash with ghosts of heartbreaks past.

What would normally pass for coincidence becomes something far stranger as the recently engaged Lola must contend not only with the viability of her current relationship but with the fact that both her best friend and her former boss, a magazine editor turned mystical guru, might have an unhealthy investment in the outcome. Memories of the past swirl and converge in ways both comic and eerie, as Lola is forced to decide if she will surrender herself to the conspiring of one very contemporary cult.

Is it possible to have a happy ending in an age when the past is ever at your fingertips and sanity is for sale?

Cover design by June Park

What I thought

I discovered Crosley's novel a few days before filing my June column on Daily Hive. Like many books, I was initially drawn to it by the impressive cover, which I found out was designed by June Park. Park's designs are incredible, and I highly recommend a trip to her Instagram page to check out some of her work.

I stayed up through the night reading every review I could after putting in a request with Raincoast for an ARC. I should note that I've been in a terrible reading slump lately, struggling to actually make it through a book from cover to cover. 

I've been starting new books that I've been really excited about, making it to page 70-120, and putting them down. This has happened with four books in a week.

The last book I read from start to finish was Tucker Shaw's When You Call My Name. Maybe I'm coming down from how great that book was, maybe I'm distracted, or maybe I just need a break. Regardless, I'm still reading and researching for my column. I just felt that I hadn’t really read a book because I hadn't actually closed and shelved a book on GoodReads for over a week. 

Until now. Thank you, Sloane Crosley.

This novel was immensely clever and so original. 

When I initially read the synopsis of the protagonist’s repetitive run-ins, I did wonder how Sloane would hold my attention, but there was so much else bubbling under the surface that Lola’s love life wasn't the sole focus of the narrative. The developed side characters, each with little plots of their own, and an intriguing man named Clive, kept things interesting.

It was also downright hilarious, and I love a book that's set in New York City. The ending was the best part — you will not see it coming. Sloane Crosley did a fantastic job. I’m interested in her debut collection of essays, I Was Told There'd Be Cake.

*review filed June 5th

Sloane Crosley by Caitlin Mitchell

Sloane Crosley is the author of the New York Times bestsellers I Was Told There'd Be Cake (a Thurber Prize finalist) and How Did You Get This Number. A frequent contributor to The New York Times, she lives in Manhattan.

Cult Classic is available for purchase in hardcover from Indigo and in e-book and audiobook format from Kobo