Today is my turn on the Blog-Tour for The Ex-Factor by Eva Woods. Her modern and fresh voice knows exactly how to create the type of characters readers want to re-visit. A little bit like a guilty pleasure. When you need a fun read with attitude her books are exactly the right thing to grab!
About the author
Eva Woods/Claire McGowan is a writer and a lecturer. She writes contemporary women’s fiction as Eva Woods and crime fiction as Claire McGowan. She was born in Northern Ireland and now lives in London, where she writes and teaches creative writing.
According to her blog she also spends a lot of time tutting at slow people on escalators and dodging urban foxes. She likes wine, pop music, and holidays, and thinks online dating is like the worst board game ever invented.
About the book
Is it possible to freecycle love? Modern dating is hard, especially when all you meet are liars, oddballs, men who wear Superman pants and men who live with their mums.
So why not date someone who already comes pre-approved? Just because your friend’s ex wasn’t right for her doesn’t mean that he won’t be right for you. That’s Marnie’s new plan for herself and her three best friends, perennially single Helen, recently divorced Rosa and cynical lawyer Ani.
Through bad dates and good, the four friends begin to realise that there are advantages to dating pre-screened men…but there can be some serious pitfalls to falling for your friend’s ex.
Can I just start this review off by saying that for me the real star of this book was Karl. Absolutely hands down, no contest at all. Woods had his character down to a fine art. The introvert with a sideline of extroverted geekiness.
The premise or the free-cycling your ex concept is the kind of idea you tend to read in a fashion or women’s magazine. Is it feasible? Realistically I don’t think so, because there will always be feelings of some kind attached to an ex. Handing them over to a girlfriend will probably awaken feelings of jealousy, resentment or possibly just doubts about whether you made the right decision to let them go. However, as these women soon discover, an ex is an ex for a reason.
The story follows Marnie, Rosa, Helen and Ani, a close-knit group of friends who are willing to try the crazy re-cycle an old boyfriend idea. Their friend Marnie has returned from overseas and, as always, makes a decision for the whole group with her own personal agenda in mind.
Woods infuses her stories with her own quirky sense of humour and the complexities of women’s relationships.The support network of friendship is priceless in a society and era where it is easy to be completely alone in the middle of a crowd. However, nothing can tear down a friendship quite like the common denominator of a man.
I mean what could possibly go wrong? Looking for a soulmate in the crumpled up cast-offs of someone else’s black book of dating.
As if that wasn’t enough emotional distress and anxiety to go around, the girls also have their own personal demons to cope with. Helen has self-esteem issues, Ani has become a one date trick pony, Rosa is in the middle of a messy break-up and Marnie spends all her time pretending to be little Miss Perfect.
Dating in your early 20’s is easygoing, but after that it just gets a lot like the Hunger Games with less fatalities. Nowadays this is the reality, trying to find your jigsaw puzzle piece to complete your personal picture, but without knowing what the picture is supposed to look like.
It is a amusing read with fairly honest view of the harsh realities of friendship and love.