Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Review: The Serial Daters Shopping List by Morgen Bailey

The Serial Dater's Shopping ListIsobel MacFarlane is a recently-turned-40 journalist who usually writes a technology column for a newspaper based in Northampton, England, but her somewhat-intimidating boss, William, has set her the task of meeting 31 men, via a local internet dating site, all within a month.

Having an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend and ‘Health & Beauty’ colleague Donna, she knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and don’ts, and starts ticking them off as she meets Mr Could Be Right Except For, Mr Not Bad, Mr Oh My Goodness and Mr Oh So Very Wrong.

Follow the ups (there are a few) and downs (there are many) of the dating process and intertwined with her experiences, get to know her colleague and family, including her niece Lola who, apart from being an amazing storyteller, can eat ambidextrously whilst wearing a Princess glove puppet on her right hand, and Baby, William’s non-too-healthy African Grey parrot.


Ikira's Review 3 of 5 stars

I'm not entirely sure how I came to have this book on my kindle. I feel it could be one I was provided by the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review. Unfortunately, this year has been a difficult one for me and for many months, my kindle did not surface so my apologies to the author if this is the case - I would certainly never accept a book for review and purposely delay in reading/reviewing.

I found this story in the 'New' section of the carousel on my kindle. Not recognising it, and without reading the blurb etc, I simply opened it up and started reading. 


Immediately, there was something familiar - the book is set in my home town! How odd it is to read a story set in places you know so well! I became so excited to keep reading, to see if I could work out where the lead character lived based on the timings provided/distances travelled etc!

The story follows Isobel McFarland through her journey of a date for every day of the month. She sets up her online profile and writes her 'shopping list' for her ideal man and sets about writing her new column in the local paper about what she's going to do. She just about pulls it off, meeting someone new every day for the whole month. The 'dates' are a whole host of different (and I soon realised there are actually a few pubs in the area I havent been to!) and Isobel finds new and inventive ways to write about each one whilst attempting to not be unkind in her wording.

It was a reasonably entertaining read for me with the story covering her dates and column as well as her personal life in aspects but it didn't tick all the items on my 5-star book list. Sadly, I found it difficult to connect with Isobel and as the lead character, that is an immediate let down. 


The initial excitement about the story being in my home-town was soon lost and potentially caused something of a lack of interest - already knowing the area meant that the descriptions of the routes taken, which shops/cafe's/garages the characters walked past etc sometimes felt too much. It wasn't a problem throughout the book - some parts made me LOL when I could relate to hitting your head on the low beam at the Greyhound in Milton Malser for example but overall it was just too much. 

Finally, the 'Shopping List' became more of a do's and don't specifically tailored to each of the dates rather than an actual shopping list where you tick off (or dont) specific attributes you're looking for. 

It's light-hearted and fun, not to be ignored but not enough to have kept me 'hooked' or 'wanting more'.


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