Tuesday, 20 March 2018

An interview With a Lad Lit Fan

This interview was olriginally posted on Hey Said Renee on Friday, May 6, 2016 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour

G’day fellow book lovers! It’s day 18 of the Lad Lit Blog Tour and I’m here in sunny Australia with Hey Said Renee. For the past two and half weeks I have been busy promoting my books and championing lad lit, but I’m worried people might be getting bored of hearing from me. So to change things up a bit, I interviewed chick lit fan and book reviewer Kell Smurthwaite, to get her take on lad lit…

Hi Kell, thank you for joining me for this interview to discuss everything lad lit as part of the Lad Lit Blog Tour. For readers who have never read lad lit before, how would you describe it?
That's a tough one, because Lad-Lit is such a wide-ranging genre that can incorporate anything from sci-fi to historical fiction to action, and everything in between. One thing that I do see recurring most often, though, is a darker sense of humour than Chick-Lit, which I love. I've also never really been a fan of romances, as I tend to find them a bit namby-pamby and very unrealistic, whereas, if there happens to be a bit of love interest in a Lad-Lit novel, there is that ever-present undercurrent of humour, and a little more realism, rather than idealism.

As a fan of both chick lit and lad lit, what do you think are the biggest differences and similarities between the two genres?
I think the way romantic encounters are portrayed are probably the biggest difference. As I mentioned before, there's that element of poking fun at the protagonist, and a more realistic approach to the foibles of the partners in Lad-Lit, whereas Chick-Lit often puts a soft focus on those scenes, painting a picture of the perfect man for the heroine. I live in an imperfect world, and I don't want an impossibly perfect image of a man – it kind of sets the standards too high for real life relationships, if you get what I mean! Lad-Lit definitely has the edge for me there. I guess I'd say the biggest similarity between the genres is the imperfection of the lead character. In Chick-Lit, you'll often have a ditzy girl who can't get her life together till she meets the right guy (I know, right? Since when was life made easier by love?), and Lad-Lit will often have a similarly clueless guy in the lead, often a bit of a Jack-the-lad, although, he doesn't always settle down when he finds the right girl. In fact, he usually screws it up in some way. I guess I prefer the complications involved there – far more realistic!

Who is your favourite lad lit author and why?
I love Nick Hornby! I recognise an awful lot of his leading men as being very like guys I know and have known in the past. I usually find them rather endearing, often because of, rather than in spite of, their idiosyncrasies.

What is the best lad lit book you've ever read?
I know it's probably a little clichéd to say it, but High Fidelity by Nick Hornby is one of my favourites. I think partially because of my own love of music, but largely because of how raw the emotions of Rob and Laura are portrayed. Their reactions to their relationship problems and life in general are very real and very, well, human. It's just a great book, full stop. Everyone should read it, male or female!

In your opinion, why has lad lit never hit the heights of chick lit?
The only reason I can think of could possibly be that reading has largely been seen as a more feminine pastime – although I know plenty of men who do read, I know far more women who do, and the reading men in my circle are heavily outnumbered by the non-readers. I love it when I see a guy reading. A man with a book in his hands is instantly infinitely more attractive to me – it shows he can engage his mind in a way to which I can personally relate. And let's face it, who doesn't love talking about their favourite books with other people?

If you had 20 seconds to convince someone why they should read lad lit what would you say?
People should just read, full stop! Seriously, pick up a book and start reading. It doesn't matter what genre, just read! And if you don't like the book you're reading, put it down and try a different one. There are so many great books out there, and if you don't enjoy reading, it's just because you haven't found the right book to light that fire in you that makes you want to keep going and read more. Find that book, and you'll never look back!

Monday, 19 March 2018

What is lad lit?

The Flood by Steven Scaffardi
This guest post was originally published on Linda's Book Bag on Sunday, March 27, 2016 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour

Talking lad lit with Steven Scaffardi...
Lad lit is a bit like the literary black sheep of the family. It’s made a few mistakes in the past and it is still paying for it now. It’s not like it hasn’t tried making amends, but it just seems that people don’t want to listen. If only they’d give it a second chance.

Even Wikipedia, that bastion of internet information, seems to be so upset that if you type ‘lad lit’ into their search box, it can’t even bring itself to refer to it by its rightful name in the first line of its description of the genre:

“Fratire” is a type of 21st-century fiction literature written for and marketed to young men in a politically incorrect and overtly masculine fashion.

Fratire? What the hell is fratire?! The sentence ‘a type of 21st-century fiction literature’ implies it’s not willing to attribute the fact that it is a real genre. It’s as good as calling it ‘a so-called fiction literature’ with as much contempt as you can muster. And what’s with the patronising inverted commas, used I’m sure in the same way like one of those annoying people who insist on holding their two fingers in the air and bending them down at the precise moment they utter a word that is unworthy of being part of the sentence leaving their mouth?

There is no doubt about it – Wikipedia does not like lad lit, and when the biggest encyclopedia in the world has an issue with you, what chance have you got?

Oh, you think I’m being over the top or too sensitive? Okay, let’s type ‘chick lit’ into the Wikipedia search box and see what it has to say about lad lit’s older, more respected sibling:

Chick lit or Chick literature is genre fiction which addresses issues of modern womanhood, often humorously and lightheartedly.

Hmmm, no inverted commas, the correct use of their name, no disdain pouring out from every syllable, just a pleasant and respectful description that makes you want to read a bit more, which is more than we can say about that awful little oik of brother of yours.

So what did lad lit actually do? Well, it uses the word ‘lad’ for a start; a word normally found loitering around in low-brow environments such as lads mags.

But what if lad lit was given a clean slate? What if the next time you saw those two little words you decided to give it a chance rather than dismiss it out of hand immediately? You’d be pleasantly surprised.

That’s why I started #LadLitSunday; a social media initiative to highlight the great work being written by lad lit authors. When you start to compile a list of authors leading the way in the genre, it’s hugely impressive.

Tony Parsons, Mike Gayle, Nick Spalding, Matt Dunn, Danny Wallace, Jon Rance.

Nick Hornby.

Just last month the undisputed king of lad lit was rubbing shoulders with Hollywood’s elite as he was nominated for a Best Screenplay award for a second time, hot on the heels of his Bafta win just a week before.

It was another accolade for the man who brought to life the Arsenal 1989 title winning season in a more romantic way than Michael Thomas’ winning goal itself, not to mention the brilliant Rob Fleming in High Fidelity. Fleming epitomised everything you have been told to hate about lad lit characters. As Wordspy.com, lad lit is: A literary genre that features books written by men and focusing on young, male characters, particularly those who are selfish, insensitive, and afraid of commitment.

Well you know what? Fleming was selfish, insensitive, and afraid of commitment, but it was for all of those reasons that Hornby’s book became such a huge success; transformed into a big screen adaption and musical.

Lad lit might not always conform to the chick lit rule of HEA, but it pays it a huge compliment by being the prelude to the HEA. If book genres were a diet then lad lit would be the ‘before’ picture and chick lit would be the ‘after’ image.

In my Sex, Love and Dating Disasters series I love exploring the hilarious situations people can relate to before they find that perfect partner. Lad lit is that awkward first date you still tell your friends about 10 years later. It’s the boyfriend you will forever wonder what was I thinking when I got with him? It’s what puts the com in romcom!

I recently interviewed Matt Dunn, best-selling author of The Ex-Boyfriends Handbook, and asked him to explain how male writers tackle a similar genre to our female counterparts differently. He said: “Personally, I think we just tell it how it is from our point of view. Or rather, how we see it. Which is kind of how it is, if you believe all that ‘perception is reality’ bollocks. Which I do, obviously.”

And that, in a nutshell, best sums up what lad lit is really about – a story told from a different perspective; not necessarily politically incorrect or overtly masculine fashion, and it certainly doesn’t always feature characters who are selfish, insensitive, and afraid of commitment.

So in the true fashion of those of you who love reading or are about to embark on a new book challenge, next time you happen to be sitting around one Sunday afternoon looking for that next book, promise me you’ll check out the hashtag #LadLitSunday and you might just find that alternative HEA you have been looking for.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

The Drought by Steven Scaffardi book review (taken from Bookaholic Confessions)

This book review was originally posted on Bookaholic Confessions on Friday, April 29, 2016 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour

4 Stars
When Dan Hilles breaks up with his long-term girlfriend something very odd seems to happen to him. He suddenly becomes tongue-tied around the opposite sex and appears unable to even strike up a (normal) conversation with a girl, let alone ask one out on a date… This results in Dan finding himself in what he refers to as a ‘Drought’. The longer the Drought goes on, the harder Dan tries to find himself a date, leading to some very awkward, unusual and down-right hilarious consequences. Why has it suddenly become so impossible for Dan to land himself a date? After all, he’s a ‘seven-out-of-ten’ kinda’ guy and his bunch of quirky yet loveable friends seem to have no trouble attracting the ladies. Will ‘The Drought’ ever end or is Dan destined to stay date-less for ever (gulp)?

‘Lad-Lit’ is a genre that I have grown to love over recent years. It seems to be something which is becoming more and more prominent and its unique-selling-point seems to be that it’s one of those rare types of novel which appeal to both men and women. I would class ‘lad-lit’ as Mike Dunn, Nick Spalding, Jon Rance (a selection of authors who I absolutely love!)…And I can now firmly add Steven Scaffardi to that list because if lad-lit is your thing then The Drought is a must-read. I think the main reason novels such as The Drought appeal to both male and female readers is because of two reasons. Firstly, for male readers, they will undoubtedly be able to relate to this story. It could be written about them and their group of friends. It’s funny, realistic and has a narrator talks total sense (to them at least…!) and is also incredibly likeable. From the female perspective, this novel is almost like an insight into the workings of the male mind. It’s amazing to read about the thoughts and ideas that run through Dan’s head (and it’s also extremely funny at times…And kind of scary, actually.)

Bearing in mind that this is a novel based around the lives of a group of four young men, there is the usual selection of banter, boobs and bottoms. Although I think you’d assume that this might be the case from the get-go so don’t be outraged if it’s not your cup of tea.

As a female reader I completely warmed to Dan. Ok, there might have been times when he did/said/believed the silliest of things but that’s all part of his charm. His heart is in the right place and I was totally on his side throughout. It was brilliant when he would do something seemingly innocent only for it to totally backfire on him. Your heart will go out to him whilst you’re quietly chuckling to yourself. Admittedly it’s usually his friends who get him into these cringe-worthy situations and for this reason they are a cracking set of characters. Their friendship group is both hilarious yet realistic and they certainly made me chortle when they got together. My favourite moments include their outing to Brighton (exotic dancers, anyone!?) and when Rob, Ollie and Jack individually coach Dan to get him ‘back in the game’; this involves overhauling his style, fitness levels and teaching him other, erm, things of vital importance. I liked Rob the best (You’ve got to love a guy who knows his fashion, am I right?) I also really liked the relationship between Dan and his work colleague, Kelly. They have great chemistry and I am SO pinching their game of ‘Office Dare’!

Lots of books are described as being ‘laugh-out-loud’ funny, but The Drought genuinely will have you sniggering. In fact, more than sniggering…Try a great, big, good old belly laugh. I love books like this – books that can completely take my mind off everything else and make me smile. This novel really was a brilliantly funny, well constructed, light, fun-filled read.

There are so many stories centred around dating from the female-perspective that it made a refreshing change to read a novel from a male point of view. Not necessarily one for the faint hearted, but if you’re a fan of humour and cheekiness then you’ll love Dan’s misadventures.

I personally am really looking forward to the follow-up, The Flood. I miss blundering-yet-loveable Dan and his coin-purse…

Steven Scaffardi Author Interview (taken from Bookaholic Confessions)

The Flood by Steven Scaffardi
This interview was originbally posted on Bookaholic Confessions on Friday, April 29, 2016 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour

Hi Steven, welcome to Bookaholic Confessions! Thank you so much for participating in this interview. Would you like to start by introducing yourself…?
Hi Holly, thanks for having me! Well as you know my name is Steven and I am the author of The Drought and The Flood; two comedy books about relationships from a man’s point of view, and both part of the Sex, Love & Dating Disasters series.

Can you tell us a bit about your debut novel The Drought (Sex, Love and Dating Disasters)?
I sure can! The Drought is the laugh-out-loud tale of one man’s quest to overcome the throes of a sexual drought. After the stormy break-up with his girlfriend of three years, Dan Hilles is faced with the daunting task of throwing himself back into the life of a single man. With the help of his three best pals, Dan is desperate and determined to get his leg-over with hilarious consequences!

…And also about your follow-up to The Drought, The Flood (released April 2016)?
The Flood picks up where The Drought left off, although it’s written in a way that you don’t have to have read the first book to pick up the second. This time round Dan makes the mistake of making a bet with his best friends that he can juggle more than one girl at the same time, and a series of comical situations ensue as Dan buckles under the pressure of dating his ex-girlfriend, a stalker, the office ice queen, and the one that got away. It is available now to pre-order for just 99p (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flood-Love-Dating-Disasters-Book-ebook/dp/B01D1U7Z0I/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8). It will be released as an eBook on April 30 and the paperback will be available on May 19.

I am really looking forward to reading both books; they sound brilliant! I have to ask – are there elements of yourself in your lead character Dan Hilles or is he entirely fictional?
Unfortunately yes! The Drought is loosely based on a period in my life in my early 20s. I had just come out of a long-term relationship and had basically forgotten how to talk to girls and struggled getting myself into the dating game! Both books take stories from personal experiences or those of friends, and I sprinkle a large dose of exaggeration on top for comedy effect. It’s funny watching my wife read the books and then turn to me and say: “Please tell me this bit didn’t happen to you!”

Chick Lit Plus described your debut novel as ‘Chick Lit for Men’ I think chick lit novels written from a male perspective are such a great idea, but what’s it like writing for a genre that is dominated by female authors?
It’s hard in that you are going against the norm. Chick lit is normally written from the female point of view so (most of) the readers can relate. Plus they all tend to have a HEA ending. But lad lit is more like the frowned upon little brother of its more successful chick lit sibling. I think the biggest problem is that most readers are simply not familiar with lad lit or it has a bit of a stigma attached to it. But I’ve had lots of readers – male and female – read my books who have never picked up a lad lit novel before and told me how much they enjoyed it. As the series name suggests, it’s about the fun side of dating that doesn’t always go right, yet most people will admit they are the stories they remember the most.

The Drought (Sex, Love & Dating Disasters, #1)As well as being a writer you are also a stand-up comedian. Is it a profession that is as terrifying as you might imagine?
I haven’t actually done any stand-up comedy since 2012 – the day job took over I’m afraid, but when I used to do stand-up I can honestly say it was the best buzz I’ve ever had. Yes, the first time it was terrifying but once you start to find your rhythm and have a few jokes in your back pocket that will guarantee an odd laugh or two, it becomes less daunting. The nerves are always still there (the prospect of dying on stage is never far from your mind) but it becomes like a drug. The better you get at it, the more you look forward to getting up on stage. I miss it, but I had to find a way of paying the bills and unfortunately I wasn’t that funny so I had to stick with the 9-to-5.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I have always enjoyed being a storyteller and like most people I always thought I had a book in me, but it wasn’t until I was around 24 or 25 that I thought about it seriously. I studied journalism at university, wrote for a few magazines before becoming sports editor for a local paper. I quit journalism when I was around 27 because the money wasn’t great, but that love of writing and storytelling never went away.

What’s the best thing about writing comedies?
I think it’s the same thing as being a stand-up comedian – it’s being able to make people laugh. Seeing somebody laugh out loud because something you have said or written is hugely satisfying. I think it’s an incredibly difficult art that probably doesn’t get the credit it deserves. I have huge respect for stand-up comedians who go on stage and make people laugh for an hour. The longest set I ever did was 15 minutes and trying to come up with enough material to last 15 minutes was challenging enough let alone a whole hour. It is the same with writing a comedy novel. Writing 300+ pages of funny situations has its challenges, but so far, so good.

Who are your favourite authors and which type of books do you enjoy reading?
I like anything from my fellow lad lit authors to thriller and crime novels. My favourite authors at the moment are Danny Wallace, Jeff Abbott and Ben Mezrich, but my favourite book in recent times is the Bourbon Kid series. I can’t tell you the authors name because he is anonymous, but his novels are just brilliant. Imagine Quentin Tarantino in a supernatural world full of wonderful movie clichés. They are such good fun to read.

And finally – can you tell us a bit about what you’re up to at the moment?
I have only recently finished writing The Flood so I am busy trying to promote that at the moment, but I am already work on the framework for my third book. This is a bit of an exclusive for you as I haven’t told anyone else this yet. At the moment the working title is called The Pact and it is the third book in the Sex, Love & Dating Disasters series. This time round, Dan and his pals travel to Latvia and get themselves into all sorts of trouble with a bunch of gangsters, drag queens, pimps, cops and lots more. It’s a little bit different to the first two books, but I love writing about these characters so much that I’m hoping other people and fans of the series will like it too.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

The 10 Lad Lit Books Every Chick Lit Fan Should Read

Lad Lit, Chick Lit,  High Fidelity, Nick Hornby, Man and Boy, Tony Parsons, My Legendary Girlfriend, Mike Gayle, The Ex-Boyfriend’s Handbook, Matt Dunn, Love… From Both Sides, Nick Spalding, Charlotte Street, Danny Wallace, This Thirtysomething Life, Jon Rance, This is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper, Starter for Ten, David Nicholls, The Drought, Steven Scaffardi,
This guest post was orioginally posted on For The Love of Chick Lit on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour

From the moment I published my debut novel, The Drought, five years ago I have been on a mission to fly the flag for lit. For me, in terms of contemporary fiction, lad lit is up there with the very best, yet it doesn’t necessarily get the recognition it deserves.

Lad lit is best known as the male equivalent of chick-lit, primarily written by men exploring relationships, emotions and day-to-day life experiences from the perspective of a male protagonist. Often told with humour, charm and wit, lad lit leaves many readers laughing out loud at the scenarios men get into.

Since 2011, I have spoken to and engaged with a number of people – authors, bloggers and readers – who were already fans of lad lit or were new to the genre but fell in love instantly, and a lot of them were both women and chick lit fans.

This list is created from those numerous conversations, ratings on sites such as Amazon and Goodreads, and reviews on book blogger sites. I hope you enjoy and maybe discover a new love for lad lit…

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
In boxing terms, there are two major heavyweights in this genre. One is Nick Hornby and the other is Tony Parsons, and for me Hornby just edges it by split decision. High Fidelity is probably his most well-known work. It explores the world of break-ups, make-ups and what it is to be in love.

Man and Boy by Tony Parsons
It is rumoured Parsons wrote this tale of a man who has the perfect life and throws it all away, based on his own personal experience. The British author pens a wonderfully crafted story about how one bad choice can flip your whole life upside down.

My Legendary Girlfriend by Mike Gayle
Mike Gayle’s books are the perfect example why lad lit is often referred to as ‘chick lit for men’. Over the past two decades, arguably no other author in the genre has been as consistent as Gayle at producing hit after hit. My Legendary Girlfriend was his debut novel and still stands the test of time.

The Ex-Boyfriend’s Handbook by Matt Dunn
The Ed and Dan trilogy (The Ex-Boyfriends Handbook/Ex-Girlfriends United/Accidental Proposal) is to lad lit what Back to the Future is to movies – a bloody good threesome! Dunn admits that Dan is probably his most popular character, and it’s easy to see why as he attempts to help his friend Ed get back on track after being unceremoniously dumped by his girlfriend for letting himself go a little bit!

Love… From Both Sides by Nick Spalding
Anything Matt Dunn can do, Nick Spalding can do one more! His Love… series has now spanned four novels. Love… From Both Sides used the clever concept of switching between the male and female lead characters every other chapter so the reader go both sides of the story (hence the name).

Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace
‘Danny Wallace is a man, but he is still learning some of life’s hardest lessons.’ That’s how Danny is described in his award-winning Shortlist magazine column, and that same wit and humour comes through in his first foray into fiction with this brilliantly clever story about a man trying to track down a woman by using the pictures he has developed from the disposable camera she left behind.

This Thirtysomething Life by Jon Rance
Similar to Nick Spalding, Jon Rance is another lad lit author who made the successful transition from self-published author to the big time following the huge success of the Amazon best-seller This Thirtysomething Life. This book beautifully captures the insecurities of men who are afraid to grow up.

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Another lad lit success that was transformed to the big screen (High Fidelity being the other), This is Where I Leave You is the hilarious and heartbreaking story of Judd Foxman who is facing divorce and unemployment while coming to terms with the death of his father. Written by diversely talented Jonathan Tropper, the man behind HBO crime thriller, Banshee.

Starter for Ten by David Nicholls
Most chick lit fans will probably know David Nicholls for One Day, but it is his debut novel Starter for Ten is probably more popular in lad lit circles. The story of Brain Jackson trying to win the affections of his university quiz teammate is nostalgic, funny and heart-warming.

The Drought by Steven Scaffardi
I know what you’re thinking – I’ve written this list and added my own book! But don’t take my word for it – here is what Chick Lit Plus had to say about The Drought: “Being a female, I sometimes have difficulty relating to the main characters, but not with this one. Steven Scaffardi’s first novel is absolutely hilarious and will leave every reader, male or female, laughing out loud.”

The Flood by Steven Scaffardi book review (taken from My Book File)

The Flood by Steven Scaffardi book review
This book review was originally posted on My Book File on Sunday, March 6, 2016

4/5 Stars
Dan Hilles is ready to spice up his love life after eight months of drought. After spending the afternoon in the pub with his three best friends, he makes a bet. He has to date four women simultaneously in eight weeks, without them finding out about each other, just to prove a point. Dan is more than ready for the Flood to come his way. What could possibly go wrong?

I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

“The text alert pierced my ear drums like someone has just plunged a needle into the side of my head. Blinking hard, my eyes momentarily struggled to recognise my own bedroom.”

Meet Dan Hilles. A great guy living in London, a nice guy… with a hangover and no idea what has happened, only to discover that during the night he somehow ended up in the same bed with two of his friends. From that point onwards it seems like the unimaginable happens to Dan. He gets his very own stalker, his new roommate is somewhat mental, he gets another chance with the girl who’s got away, he gets a chance to make the ultimate man-dream come true and he can make some money by winning a bet. But is anything ever easy when a woman is involved? And Dan has not just one but four women to worry about at the same time, because that is part of the bet. Will he pull it off or will he fall into a death-trap?

I confess that I was nearly dying of laughter most of the time while reading this book. First of all I think it’s great that this book gives mostly a man’s perspective of things but also a woman’s perspective on some occasions. Secondly I loved the use of language in this book. I can imagine that some people might find it a little to direct sometimes but I had no problem with that whatsoever and I loved the way Scaffardi put thing down in such a matter-of-fact-way that even the most bizarre events seem completely logical. Some of the stuff that happens to Dan seems so surreal but at the same time he and all that he goes through are so relatable. I mean let’s be honest we all have, or some of us are in fact, that somewhat unlucky friend. Here’s a small example of what I mean with the above:

“I carefully tried to navigate the phone out of my pocket without inappropriately touching any of the people who were cramped around me, but of course all I succeeded in doing was brushing my hand down the back of the bald guy in a completely unintentionally seductive way.”

This small passage comes from a scene where Dan is train. There are loads of people there and I guess that most of us have been in this situation once or twice (or maybe more often). It’s so relatable, I loved it, I really did. There are so many of these small things in life that have been put in this book, it’s just a great touch to the whole. Then there are the characters. The interaction between the characters are just great and the situations they get themselves into… well what can I say it’s just hilarious. What I liked about most characters is that they were well formed, they were not just portraying one sort emotion or any one-dimensional trait but they changed during the book. The minor characters are not just there either! Some of them are able to make a specific scene, like the bald guy in the train.

So in short:
I think this was great and I had fun reading it. Dan is a nice protagonist, the use of language suits the story and the characters will take you from one crazy situation into another. Overall I think it was just a great romance/comedy/chicklit kind of novel and I’m really looking forward to the next one, though I think that may take a while :’)

The Drought by Steven Scaffardi book review (taken from My Book File)

This book review was originally posted on My Book File on March 14, 2016. 

4/5 Stars 
Dan Hilles is just a normal guy with a job, a small group of friends and a long-term girlfriend, but not for long. Things start to change for Dan when he breaks-up with his girlfriend Stacey and he finds himself single again for the first time in three years. Unfortunately for him things don’t change in his favour and he enters a period of drought. With some near death experiences, more than a couple of awkward dates and some really embarrassing situations, things are getting real complicated. But Dan has a goal and he will not stop until he ends the drought.

I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

“We sang it loud. We sang it proud. We sang it with passion. We sang it completely tone deaf. But it didn’t matter. It was the perfect end to the evening.”

Dan has been with Stacey for three years now but she has changed a lot since he met her at university. It all goes wrong at new years even when they get into another fight and Dan decides to spend the night with his friends instead of with her. After the nearly fifty messages she left him that night alone, he decides to put an end to it. But things don’t really go as planned and instead of breaking up kind of ‘peacefully’ he gets kicked out of the house by Stacey best friend Sophie who wants to kill him with a baseball bat. From that point on things change, but not for the better. Time and again Dan gets himself into the must stupid and surreal situations, even his friends are unable to help him break the drought and as it goes on Dan is getting more desperate. Rob, Ollie and Jack try to help him as best as they can but even their knowledge combined can’t save Dan from making a complete fool of himself. He even manages to get on the television twice! (not under the best circumstances but heej there is no such thing as bad publicity right?)

So yes I did read the sequel first but that doesn’t matter because this book is just as awesome, funny and amusing ^_^ Why you ask? Well here is why:

This book is everything I hoped it would be. There are the familiar yet unimaginable situations he is able to get into. He does it all on his own and I have to say that is very impressive. I’ve got more than one favourite scene is this book but I think that this one is the one I loved the most:

“‘I bumped into Simon Peterson yesterday.’ Rob said. ‘He lives on Mantilla Road.’
‘So what?’ I sneered.
‘He happened to mention that he saw you on his road on Wednesday night,’ Rob announced. ‘He was working on his car. He would have said hello, but you sprinted past him at a ferocious pace with a dog chasing you.’
‘Was it a poodle?’ Ollie questioned.
‘No it wasn’t a poodle,’ I said. ‘It was a big horrible, snarling beast.’
‘Simon said it was a sausage dog.’ Rob said and they all started laughing again.

This is a scene where Dan is having a drink with his friends and yes they’re making fun of him again. Now what happened before this is quite hilarious because it has to do with a date that would have stopped Dan’s drought. Dan got a second chance with Grace and just as they were going to take it one step further, he discovers that he doesn’t have any condoms with him. Getting dressed to get some at a store nearby, he runs out of Grace’s house but by the time he has to get back he finds out that he has no idea how to get back at all. That is when, after walking some time, he encounters a big horrible snarling beast… that turned out to be a sausage dog.

This book was so much fun to read and even though I read the second book first it didn’t affect me at all because everything that happened was just as unexpected. The amazing characters combined with the easy use of language, the everyday scenes and hilarious situations made for a great book. Again this book brings the whole dating-scenario from a totally different perspective. Not from the female point of view but from a man’s and that makes it all the more fun to read. It is that I am a woman myself but by reading this I understand that most man don’t understand women at all, sometimes even I don’t understand women (or myself for that matter) at all. Some of the language and scenes might be a little too harsh or descriptive for some people but that just made it better in my opinion.

Overall I think the book was great and it was so much fun to read. I would recommend this book to everyone who loves romance/comedy/chicklit kind of novels. I give this book four stars because me really likey.