What it’s about:
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 multiple cases of wine and extensive relationship analysis with best friend Lucy have done nothing to help. Faced with a new year but no new love, Phoebe concocts a different kind of resolution.
The List: ten things she’s always wanted to do in bed but has never had the chance (or the courage!) to try. A bucket list for between the sheets. One year of pleasure, no strings attached. Simple, right?
Factor in meddlesome colleagues, friends with benefits, getting frisky al fresco and maybe, possibly, true love and Phoebe’s got her work cut out for her.
I actually won a copy of The List in a giveaway and wasn’t really sure what to expect. I read the blurb and it sounded funny but I had no idea how much I would enjoy it, to the point of quite confidently being able to say it was one of the best books I’ve read in 2013. The List follows the story of Phoebe, a normal 30-something woman who has had her heart-broken. After a year of moping about, feeling sad about her failed relationship and 500 quid’s worth of therapy sessions, she decides to make a new years resolution to change one thing – her sex life. With the help of her best friend, Lucy, she devises a list of 10 things she’s always wanted to try in bed but never had the guts to do and sets out on a quest to complete them before the year is up. One problem, who is going to help her full-fill these challenges? That’s where her hot, charming, charismatic friend Oliver steps in…
This isn’t really the usual kind of book I’d read and especially review but I knew I was going to love this book from the sentence, ‘There were tables of Hipsters, ready to Instagram photos of their meal as soon as it arrived’. The narrative and dialogue was so natural and normal to me. Phoebe talks exactly how I talk and the conversations she has with her friends were like reading conversations with people I know! All the characters in this book were very well developed and had their own quirks which I loved. Not a single one of them was boring to read about. Phoebe is a delightful main characters as she’s so normal and exactly the kind of person I’d love to be friends with. In fact, by the end of the book, she kind of did feel like a friend! Oliver was also another great characters and he is exactly the type of guy girls go for – sexy, charming, charismatic and quite frankly, every single girl needs an Oliver in their life! This book was set out in months and dates instead of chapters which was quite different but I really liked it. I felt The List portrays a healthy and very realistic view of sex and relationships. Joanna doesn’t sugar coat anything to make it seem better than it really is because that’s not what happens in real life and on a serious note here, I think that’s very important. Although it’s great reading completely unrealistic sex scenes where everything is a bed of roses sometimes we need to bring ourselves back to reality.
I was in such a reading slump before this book and it was exactly what I needed to pull me out of it. Phoebe’s sexual encounters are not detailed in a way that makes you think you’re reading another 50 Shades book and not only does she push her sexual boundaries but discovers more about herself and the meaning of love and friendship along the way. This naughty tale of one girls quest to a better sex life will leave you laughing out loud with its witty, on-point humour and no-nonsense approach and will have you hooked from the very first page.
5 cupcakes! If I could give it more I would!
Interview coming April 2014!