Published by Bloodhound Books on November 4, 2012
Also by this author: After Jessica, Hitman Sam
31 dates in 31 days – what could possibly go wrong?
Isobel MacFarlane is a recently-turned-40 journalist who usually writes a technology column for a newspaper based in Northampton, England, but her somewhat-intimidating boss, William, has set her the task of meeting 31 men, via a local internet dating site, all within a month.
Having an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend and ‘Health & Beauty’ colleague Donna, she knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and don’ts, and starts ticking them off as she meets Mr Could Be Right Except For, Mr Not Bad, Mr Oh My Goodness and Mr Oh So Very Wrong.
Follow the ups (there are a few) and downs (there are many) of the dating process and intertwined with her experiences, get to know her colleague and family, including her niece Lola who, apart from being an amazing storyteller, can eat ambidextrously whilst wearing a Princess glove puppet on her right hand, and Baby, William’s non-too-healthy African Grey parrot.
What could go wrong with this story….31 dates in 31 days. Simple no? I feel tired just thinking about it! God knows how Izzy feels!
Each chapter of the book is a day in the life of Izzy, her day to day and then the evening for her dates. Some of these dates are epic failures and so laugh out loud funny that you could relate to the disaster. Izzy writes a column for a paper about technology when her boss William sets the task of dating thirty-one men and then write about it. The column becomes a hit, and she starts a “shopping list” of the Do’s and Don’t’s for dating and what she wants in a man. When I picked it up, the film – How to lose a guy in 10 days resonated for me.
Her list cracked me up as every other word was tall! It made me think of the list I had in my head of what type of man I want (before I met said husband….although he did not tick everything on my list!) and I remember talking it through on the beach one night with a friend, who tried to rip it apart….anyway I digress.
Izzy has her list and is sets up a profile on a dating website, where she whittles down the messages to get a date every night for 31 days (still tired at the thought!). In the day we follow her work life, her friends and her boss William (I had a soft spot for him!), and then in the evening, it is the date! We do meet some stereotypical characters and we definitely see the highs and lows of dating and after every date, in her write up she answers the question “What did I learn last night?”
This book is a laugh out loud, tongue in cheek look at online dating and dating in general. I liked Izzy a lot, although a couple of times I found her a bit insensitive to some of the other people, but she then recognised this and sorted out her behaviour. To me, this made her a much more fleshed out character and much more relatable. This is perfect for a summer read and I am now on the hunt for the book that Izzy is reading!
I must say that my favourite date was the Hunky Dunky at the Picturedrome as it seemed the most honest and the best connection…but you will have to read it to find out what happens.
Until next time xxx
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: