“The book’s sub-title is 31 men in 31 days—what could possibly go wrong? and then we dive straight into an often very funny, often very insightful look at exactly what can go wrong, or right, about online dating.
While it would definitely appeal to Bridget Jones' fans THE SERIAL DATER'S SHOPPING LIST actually tells a better story, one where the main protagonist, Isobel MacFarlane, or Izzy Mac to her friends, is not a journalist desperate to find a man, although she is a journalist. She writes the technology column on a Northamptonshire UK newspaper. The story opens with Izzy just having been given an assignment of a different kind—to join an online dating service and, pretending to be a secretary, date a man a day for a month and write an article about each date. With loose-lipped colleague and friend Donna party to the intrigue keeping her identity secret sometimes takes effort.
The story is written in first person present tense and Bailey handles it well, keeping the pace moving and keeping it entertaining.
I liked the descriptive narrative, such things as ' ... Tea shoots up both nostrils, which isn't pleasant but clears the blockage nicely'. That and many more had me wondering if Bailey is writing much from life and if she actually took on this assignment in the interests of making it come across as real, because it has the ring of authenticity. I was smiling often and even breaking into a grin with some of the dates, and I don’t do that often.
The story is interspersed with a well-rounded drawing in of the lives of work colleagues, friends and family—a necessary diversion away from the 31 dates which, as an unbroken litany, could otherwise have become boring even though well told.
This is quality chicklit. The story and characters kept my interest, the writing is polished. My one criticism is the use of whilst, not once but often. I'm Australian and such spellings haven’t been common here for years. We go for the simpler while, among, program etc. If I'm being unfair I apologise but after the first couple it annoyed me.
That aside this was a very entertaining read.
And in spite of not really looking, does Izzy actually meet a man she'd like to take home?”
Alana Woods wrote this review Saturday, January 26, 2013.