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6 April 2015

Review: 'The List' by Joanna Bolouri (2015)

Phoebe Henderson may be single but she sure doesn't feel fabulous. It's been a year since she found her boyfriend Alex in bed with another woman, and wine-fueled nights of relationship analysis with her best friend Lucy have done nothing to improve her dating situation.

Faced with another year without love, Phoebe confronts her fears and decides to forgo romantic love altogether. She comes up with The List: ten things she's always wanted to do in bed but has never had the courage to try. One year of pleasure, no strings attached. Simple, right? In a chaotic, embarrassing, exhilarating, and ultimately transformational year of self-discovery, Phoebe finds surprises, friendship, confidence, and even love, through good and bad sex.

Scottish comedienne Joanna Bolouri's debut novel 'The List' was first released in 2013, but re-released by Quercus in January 2015. I was lucky enough to get a review copy of the book through NetGalley and had high hopes for this novel, since I had only read incredibly positive reviews (mainly saying the book is like 'Bridget Jones' but better and Joanna Bolouri is a refreshing new voice within the world of chick lit). I honestly think I haven't heard a negative thing about 'The List', which of course got me all excited about picking up the novel myself, but also raised my expectations and I had my fingers crossed the book would manage to live up to these expectations!

Thirty-something Phoebe Henderson finds herself at the start of a new year, still single after she found her boyfriend Alex cheating on her 12 months ago. Coming to the conclusion she doesn't want another year alone, Phoebe decides it is time to start focusing on herself and her own needs. After a few glasses of wine and with the help of her best friend Lucy, she comes up with The List, which consists of 10 things she always wanted to do in bed but never dared to actually try. She has one year to cross off all the ten items on her list and just have some no-strings-attached fun with any man she can find. This is the start of an exciting year for Phoebe in which she will not only discover new things about herself, but also about the importance of things such as love and friendship. 

After having read this book I completely understand all the enthusiastic and positive responses from others; what a great and fun read which definitely managed to live up to expectations! The book is written in a fast-paced diary style, which is probably where the comparison with 'Bridget Jones' (which I saw mentioned quite often in other reviews) comes from. However, I personally enjoyed 'The List' even more than I did 'Bridget Jones'! Phoebe is an incredibly funny and relatable heroine. I think many female readers will recognise themselves in her, and will laugh and cry along with her. Next to Phoebe, there's also her best friends Lucy and Oliver, and together they form a great group whose stories I simply couldn't get enough of. 

The novel was a really fast read and easy to get through. I didn't want to put it down and finished it in two sittings, mainly because it managed to hold my attention from chapter to chapter. The book is quite explicit (it includes a fair bit of bad language and, quite obviously, lots of talk about sex), so if that's not for you, you probably shouldn't pick this up. However, I do think Joanna Bolouri is indeed a refreshing and fun new voice within the world of chick lit and I'll happily join the queue of people already waiting for her next release! 'The List' is a fabulously funny, refreshingly honest, and naughty read which I couldn't put down; quite simply a read chick lit fans do not want to miss!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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