As a nursing mother of an (almost) four week old, I need to read books that will keep me entertained and riveted even if it is 2 in the morning. The Ex-Boyfriend’s Handbook did just that. I had a hard time putting it down and finished it in record time.
Edward Middleton has been dating his girlfriend Jane for ten years until one fateful day when he returns to his flat to find it half empty with a “Dear John” note left behind. Jane’s “Dear John” note has the rather cruel line, “It’s not me – it’s you” and proceeds to tell Edward how he has let himself go and that Jane has had enough. Jane hasn’t just moved across town, but is gone to Tibet for two months.
Together with his best friend Dan, the “star” of a mid-morning antiques show, Edward formulates a plan to get himself back into shape in two months in order to win back Jane’s love. Besides losing weight, exercising, and quitting smoking, the plan also includes a flat makeover, a new car, and more experience in the world of dating by using speed dating. Through it all, Edward learns more about himself and gains self confidence.
I loved this book. The premise had me from the start. I love that this novel was written by a man and the storyline is the typical “chick lit” story with a man as the protagonist instead. The novel digs into the inner workings of a man to show that he is a well rounded being with feelings too, not just the loser or prize of most “chick lit” or romance novels.
The book is set in Brighton (United Kingdom) and I loved the unique setting (i.e., not London or New York). The best part of the novel though was the characters. I loved Edward and Dan. Their witty dialogue fairly sparked off the page. I would love to read more novels with them as the protagonists. The humor was fantastic and kept me very entertained.
I also must say that I loved the cover of this book. It made me laugh whenever I looked at it with the headless man gripping his broken heart. Once again, I love the different take on a tale of the broken hearted, with the broken hearted being a man rather than a woman.
Overall, I loved The Ex-Boyfriend’s Handbook and highly recommend it for anyone that is looking for an entertaining, witty, quick read. I need to check out more of Matt Dunn’s novels.
Book Source: Review Copy from Sourcebooks. Thank-you!