Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Joanna Bolouri’s fantastic debut novel ‘The List: My Year of Sexual Adventures‘! While you’re here, have a wander around and maybe leave a comment or two – I’d love to hear if you’ve read this book or if you now plan to.
Publish Date: 10th April 2014 by Quercus (first published 5th December 2013)
Date Read: 13th November 2014
Genre: Romance-y Angst-y Chick-Lit
Links: Amazon UK / Amazon US
Note: I received this review copy of The List for free in return for an honest review. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.
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.
Joanna Bolouri’s The List is completely unlike any book I have ever read and would normally ever read. For one, I tend to shy away from angsty chick lit and, secondly, from diary-format reads in the first person. This book however intrigued me when I first heard about it; hence joining the blog tour! The List took me straight out of my biblio-safe zone and on a fast train to who-knew-where. I wasn’t disappointed.
The book itself is written in the first person from the point of the main female character; Phoebe Henderson. There are no real chapters as the story is written in the format of a diary with an entry for each day, though the book is split into months. Phoebe is joined by a whole host of other characters including the lovely Oliver; all of whom are extremely relateable and astonishingly real. The List is absolutely hilarious and Joanna takes no prisoners. If you don’t like swearing or sex though, this book is not for you. I described the book earlier as ‘chick lit’ and honestly I’m not sure if that is the right category – what is though is a whole new matter. It’s full angst and romance. It’s uproarious, cringe-worthy and downright dirty in places. I went through the book alternately wanting to cheer on or throttle Phoebe, Oliver or most of the other characters. For me though, that’s the sign of a great book! It is a book I could well see being based on real-life events, though a life far different from my own. Isn’t that the point of reading though? To quote Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations” – and to boldly go where my mind hasn’t gone before.
Reading The List has taught me a lot about my literary likes and dislikes. The book itself was extremely easy to read and I felt carried along by the trials and tribulations of Phoebe and her exciting and often horrendously amusing life and sexual explorations. For all the sex in the book however, it wasn’t at all pornographic and honestly was mainly talked about plainly and without going into great detail. Not a book I would give out to all and sundry but would definitely offer to a friend. And the big question; Does it have a happy ending? Spoilers darling. You’ll just have to read it for yourself.
Overall a great and funny read which I hope you will try.
About the author:
Joanna Bolouri worked in sales before she began writing professionally at the age of thirty. Winning a BBC comedy script competition allowed her to work and write with stand-up comedians, comedy scriptwriters and actors from across the UK. She’s had articles and reviews published in The Skinny, the Scottish Sun, the Huffington Post and HecklerSpray. She lives in Glasgow with her daughter.
This blog tour was organised by the lovely Emma Louise of Emma Lou Book Blog