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The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. - Jane Austen

Review: Nicola May – The Bow Wow Club

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Nicola May - The Bow Wow ClubI was absolutely delighted when I received a tweet from Nicola May saying that she had read my review for Working it Out and she wanted to send me an advanced copy of her new book, The Bow Wow Club, which is out next month. I really enjoyed the last book, and it was so cool to know that I was reading the book before pretty much anyone else. Because it’s not out yet, I’m not going to give too much away about the plot, because it’s not fair to have that all over the internet before the book is even out.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a book make me cry within the first 10 pages, and especially not make me laugh and cry at the same time. But this did. The book is a sequel to Working it Out; we are back a couple of years later to catch up with Ruby, but her life hasn’t been going too well and she’s in a bad place. But throughout the course of the book, with the help of a great set of friends including her lovely neighbour Margaret and her nutty friend Fi (who is not exactly trouble-free in this book either), she gets herself back on track.

I found myself getting caught out in the book by predicting what was going to happen and then being proved wrong again and again by twist after twist which kept the book exciting. I found the Bow Wow Club itself a lovely place (although not what I first thought it was going to be), and each person in there had a sad tale to tell, but all ultimately helped Ruby in her journey to self re-discovery.

There wasn’t really anything I didn’t like about the book, it kept me scrolling and scrolling to get to the end, and as I had connected so much to Ruby in Working it Out, I had an instant connection with her as soon as I started reading. It took me a while to warm to Michael, at first I was suspicious of him, but it turns out that he was the only guy who didn’t really deserve suspicion.

The only thing that lessened my enjoyment of the book was that there were a few spelling and grammar mistakes which stopped the flow of the book a few times while I went back to re-read the sentence, but I’m sure that’s to be expected when you’re reading an advanced copy of a book.

To sum up: if you love chick-lit and you like a book that takes you through a whole range of emotions but ultimately makes you smile, then this book is perfect for you.

5/5

Review: Graeme Simsion – The Rosie Project

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Graeme Simsion - The Rosie ProjectThis book was received from the Goodreads First Reads program, where you can enter a giveaway for the chance to win an advanced copy of many books. I believe by the time I received this book, it had already been released in shops, but it made me very happy that mine says ‘Advance Reading Copy’ on the back, and for an extra bonus, it’s autographed too!

The book centers on Don Tillman, a very smart but socially awkward professor of genetics at a university in Melbourne. He has only two friends (Gene and his wife Claudia), and has never been on a second date. He’s perfectly content with all areas of his life, but for one thing. He wants a wife. His problem is that every woman he dates ends up having some problem; they smoke, they wear excessive make up, they’re vegetarian, they’re always late, and so on and so on. Don’s problem is that he has to sit through a date with these women before he realises what is wrong with them.

He decides on a questionnaire to pre-filter his dates to help him find the perfect woman – ‘The Wife Project’. The problem is, once he has asked all the questions he wants to ask, it comes out at 16 pages long. He uploads it to his online dating profile and waits for the women to start contacting him.

Days after posting his questionnaire, a young woman called Rosie turns up at his office. Don assumes that Gene has sent her following her submission of the questionnaire, but she’s actually there looking for his help as a genetics professor. She doesn’t know the identity of her father, and her mother died and only left her the clue that she was conceived at her graduation party. With Don’s help, Rosie thinks she can find her father, and so starts The Father Project.

Throughout The Father Project, Don carries the assumption that Rosie turned up as a possible Wife candidate, but she’s the worst candidate imaginable, she smokes, she’s a vegetarian, she’s always late, and she has no regard for schedules. But somehow, Don doesn’t mind, and you can see him slowly falling in love with her, in his own way.

Back to The Father Project, and Don tracks down an old graduation photo online, which happens to have the names of all the attendees written on it. Then starts the interesting and sometimes hysterical process of trying to get DNA from all these men without them knowing. Don has many sneaky ways of doing this, from stealing hair from a hairbrush, mopping pee off the floor of a bathroom, and even spending the night posing as a barman (which he was exceedingly good at, thanks to his spectacular memory).

One by one, the men are eliminated from possible fatherhood, but just as they are getting to the last few candidates, Don’s awkwardness in social situations, or rather one social situation in particular, pushes Rosie and Don apart, and it seems like The Father Project may have come to an end.

I’m going to leave my story review there, because I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone wanting to read the book.

As soon as you start reading, you’re immediately endeared to Don. Even though he’s not very good in social situations and he has routines for everything, including a 7 day set meal plan where he eats the same meal every Monday, every Tuesday etc to avoid the pain of shopping and concentrating on cooking new meals, he seems like the most charming guy and someone you would love to be your friend. He reminded me a lot of Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory, intensely clever but inadvertently funny. But throughout the book, I never found myself laughing at Don, just at the situations that he found himself in, like the Jacket Incident at Le Gavroche. There were many moments when I actually found myself laughing out loud, it’s a good job that I was at home.

The writing drew me in completely and I devoured this book within a few hours, I just couldn’t bring myself to stop reading and put it down because I had to know what was going to happen next. I would love to read the book again later this year at a more leisurely rate to find the nuances of the book that I no doubt missed from being sucked in so completely. Graeme Simsion is definitely on my list of authors to watch out for, I would love for a follow up sequel to this story so that we can hear more from the lovely Don.

Definite 5 star book.

5/5