Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Review: Ex-Girlfriends United

Ex-Girlfriends United by Matt Dunn

Publication Date: June 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Inc.
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: Paperback, 336pp
ISBN-13: 9781402245046
ISBN:
1402245041

(Received for review from Sourcebooks)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Matt Dunn on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter

Excerpt from Ex-Girlfriends United (Courtesy of Aisle B)

Synopsis (Book Blurb):

EVER WISH YOU COULD LET THE WORLD NOW JUST WHAT YOU THINK OF YOUR EX?

Thanks to SlateYourDate.com, Dan Davis has discovered that long after he's dumped them, ex- after ex-girlfriend is dumping on him - all over the internet. And it's ruining his dating life.

Faced with the prospect of a lifetime of singledom, Dan must track down his many exes in order to put things right. Along the way, he discovers he has much to learn about himself. Particularly when he meets up again with Polly - and realizes he wants her back. Can Dan convince his former lover he's changed? Can his friend Ed convince him he needs to change in the first place? And can the two friends use their newfound knowledge to help other men in the same boat?

Thoughts:

UK author Matt Dunn essentially writes chick-lit from a male perspective. His latest book, Ex-Girlfriends United will have readers laughing out loud. With it's witty one-liners and a look at relationships through the eyes of a friend to a perpetually single man, this book will be a hit with chick-lit readers and anyone who has ever been dumped. Dunn takes readers on an adventure into the modern dating scene where social media can make or break your dating life.

Dan Davis would be considered a player. He loves'em and leaves'em with great regularity. There are always more fish in the sea. But when Dan, who has never had trouble getting dates, suddenly hits a dating dry spell, he knows something must be wrong. His friend Ed and Ed's girlfriend Sam stumble onto the reason for Dan's dating troubles when they find a website called SlateYourDate.com, where women rate the men they have dated from one to ten and dish out all the details. Dan is the most searched man in his area of the country and his rating isn't that great! Ed and Dan hatch a plan to get Dan back on the right track, by visiting the ex-girlfriends who are dissing him online and trying to salvage his dating reputation. When Dan meets up again with Polly, he realizes he wants her back but has he really changed? And how can he convince her?

This is a book I chuckle about every time I think about it. Author Matt Dunn does a fantastic job of showing the lighter side of bad dating situations. This novel is full of one liners that will have readers snickering and also gives women a glimpse into a man's mind when it comes to dating. Essentially this the story of one man who burned a lot of bridges in his dating life and now it's coming back to haunt him in a big way. Every one who has ever been dumped or did the dumping will appreciate Dunn's male perspective on what a man thinks when he's dating a woman.

In this day of technological advances and changing social dynamics, the dating scene has really changed a lot. Dunn does a remarkable job of showing how much different dating is today as opposed to even a couple of years ago. Social media has become a hotbed for dating and relationship building. Sites like Twitter, Facebook and Myspace are allowing people to interact with others that they may never have had to opportunity to meet before. And of course you have all of the dating websites like e-harmony and match.com that put people together who never imagined they might have anything in common. I think this novel is very relevant and current because of all these interactions and the plot of the story is definitely plausible. I'm sure if a reader looked long enough they would find a site like the one described in this book, where the exes have the upper hand.

Dunn's characters Ed and Dan are not what you would call typical friends. Ed is the nice guy you would want to meet and potentially date. Dan is the suave, charming guy that has no intention of dating for more than a week or two and certainly isn't marriage materiel. Ed seems a lot more thoughtful and sensitive to what a woman might be feeling and Dan comes across as really obtuse and totally clueless when it comes to what women want. I found it a little hard to see what the driving force behind their friendship was. There was no mention of what kept them together as friends or what the substance was in their relationship. It almost seemed like Dan was just as clueless in friendship as he was in romantic relationships.

Dunn uses Ed as the narrator of the story, which was a little hard for me to understand. We are learning what Dan is feeling and how he approaches things but we are learning it from Ed's voice. It was a bit disconcerting and I felt it would have been better had the book been written from Dan's point of view, though overall it did work. It just could have been better in my opinion had he done it somewhat differently. That would have to be my only criticism for this one. It's funny, delightful read, where the ex-girlfriends finally get their say. The relationship between Dan and Polly is almost a secondary aspect of the book. I liked the interactions between them and how Dan went about proving he had changed but it wasn't your typical "happy-ever-after" and in truth that made it more realistic and refreshing.

I recommend this one to chick-lit readers and readers who are looking for a fun, light read that will make them smile and chuckle a bit. It would make a great beach read or for a day in the hammock in the back yard. It's not too lengthy and readers will find it easy to read in a couple of sittings if not straight through.

Ex-Girlfriends United is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!




Matt Dunn is the author of five previous novels, including the bestselling The Ex-Boyfriend's Handbook, which was shortlisted for both the Romantic Novel of the Year Award and the Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance. He's also written about life, love, and relationships for various publications including The Times, Guardian, Cosmopolitan, Company, Glamour, Elle, and the Sun.

Matt was born in Margate, but escaped to Spain to write his first novel, in-between working as a newspaper columnist and playing a lot of tennis. Previously he has been a professional lifeguard, fitness-equipment salesman and an I.T. head-hunter, but he prefers writing for a living, so please buy his other books.

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