Boyfriend by Christmas by Jenny Stallard
|Boyfriend by Christmas by Jenny Stallard|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Zoe Morris|
|Summary: The ups and downs of trying to find a boy when you're on the clock, this is a brilliantly funny dating diary|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: November 2015|
Genie works as a writer for an online women's lifestyle site, the sort that tells you to eat at the cereal café down the street (before everyone starts rioting outside), advises you on where to get the best seasonal homewares, reviews getaways from cottages in the Cotswolds to mansions in Miami, and throws in interviews with important/influential/IT women for good measure. Genie, though, has a rather niche role. She writes on dating and love and being single in the city. But since she's been single a while, her editor is getting fed up with it and sets her a challenge: find a boyfriend by Christmas, and blog about the process. Now as the book starts we're in July, so it's not quite the awful task it would be if set at this time of year, but as someone who was once single for approaching 3 years straight I still shuddered at the thought of a dating deadline. When I say Genie is single, she's a lot less single than I was during the aforementioned third-of-a-decade. She has dates, she has kisses, she has adult sleepovers. But whichever way you look at it, she doesn't have an official, update-your-Facebook-status-and-meet-his-parents boyfriend and that's what Tabitha has tasked her with.
This book is a mix of Genie's dating diary and her columns for the website, and it's a brilliant read of the awful and awesome opportunities that come her way. Like dating in the dark, bootcamp buddies and pizza partners. As part of her challenge she will say no to nothing – not to invitations on dates, not to offers of help from various services/websites that are sure they can help stop her singledom for good. She must seize everything – the opportunity, the day, the man.
This is a warts and all book in which you may find her being more frank than you would like about certain escapades, but it's not especially racy. There are a few recurring characters and you can guess who she might end up with, at least for a short while, but whether or not she'll meet the goal of an official boyfriend by 25th December remains up in the air for most of the book.
I identified with more of this book than I expected to and was quite startled in places by how familiar I was with the places in which she found herself (one notable exception – why was SHE not the one to consider Colombia? I worked out there a while and it's ace). I would, however, like to give the following advice to Genie. Remote controls are a lot handier than smoke alarms when you need batteries quickly. Lock the bathroom door before attending to things that need attention. Even when there's an X Factor wannabe in the next room. Especially when there's an X Factor wannabe in the next room. And get yourself some decent contraception, love. It's 2015. No excuses.
This book is culturally up to the minute and that works extremely well in the context of her working for a website and churning out content in real time. I really enjoyed it. It's silly and frivolous, and has a hint of a rapid release feel to it (reading more like online content than a tightly edited tale), but it is exactly what it says on the cover and I found myself rather hooked and rooting for the lady. Two happy thumbs up from a currently not so singleton.
Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.
Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella has the same sort of vibe and style, though obviously she has bagged a man by the time she gets to this book, while fans of the media world will love Techbitch by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza.
You can read more book reviews or buy Boyfriend by Christmas by Jenny Stallard at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Boyfriend by Christmas by Jenny Stallard at Amazon.com.
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