Let’s cut to the chase: I loved The List. It was frank, fearless and downright funny. It was actually a breath of fresh air to find sex dealt with in such a straight forward fashion (and Ann Summers, where I worked at the time of reading, was not some devil shop, hurrah!). So naturally, I was excited to read Joanna’s next book.
The premise was simple: a journalist is going to follow the Rules of Engagement, a book that will teach you to find the man of your dreams, for a column. She’s on a deadline, she follows the rules and this is what happens.
So, here’s why I liked it. For one, I breezed through the entire book in one sitting. It’s just one of those books that is so fun and light to read it will never feel like a chore. Then comes the characters, and I feel like I need to deal with the best ones in a pair: Cat and Grace.
Cat, the lead, and her young daughter Grace are just so lovely, and the relationship between mother-daughter is approached in such an honest way, where they’re both the light of someone’s life and a bit of a pain when you need the loo, coming out with the most random things. I’ve found a lot of books where the mother-daughter thing is kind of this godly relationship without flaw, but here it made me smile because it’s so on point.
The blogger/journalism slant is another draw, her general reaction to this archaic sounding book on how to snag a man, and the highs and lows of following said rules in the search for love. Cat’s voice is strong and engaging, and she’s just funny to live through. While it’s not quite as down and dirty as The List (could anything ever be?), it’s still got that frank approach when sex is on the table (or chair, or wherever else), boobs flopping out of bras and all.
To sum up somewhat quickly: I would say that this is a good, easy read; the plot is fun, the characters are interesting, and the mother-daughter relationship will definitely make you smile. I took a picture about a turn of phrase to do with orgasms and standing ovations, but I can’t find it. The point being, the kind of wit that peppered Joanna’s first book and made me go kind of crazy for it is ever present. You will smile, you will laugh, and you will hanker for some spaghetti by the end (not a euphemism, there’s just a really delicious sounding spaghetti dish in there). It’s just such a fun book.
2nd July 2015 | Quercus