Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Review - The Ex Factor by Eva Woods

I’ve never read anything written by Eva Woods before but when I heard about the Ex Factor at a time when I was looking for a fun, light-hearted read I decided to jump right in. After finishing the book I was left feeling quite pleasantly surprised as it was an enjoyable novel that stood out from the crowd and was quite different from other books of its genre. What it does is explore the idea of dating a friend’s ex, something which I could never imagine doing, but which has some interesting results for a group of four friends. 

Best friends Marnie, Ani, Rosa and Helen have not had the most successful track record when it comes to relationships. Whilst Rosa has recently split from her husband due to him having an affair with a younger woman, Ani has had more first dates than she cares to think about but working as a lawyer where she deals with messy divorces on a daily basis is scared to commit to anyone long-term. Then there’s Helen who hasn’t dated in a long time and Marnie whose had a number of questionable relationships and has recently returned to London after living abroad. All fed up with their current relationship statuses they each agree to Marnie’s plan of dating a friend’s ex. Just how does this turn out…? 

This book is told from the perspective of each of the four women which I feel works really well given what the book is about. Telling the story in this way allows the reader to get to know each of the women in more detail which was great although I have to say that I particularly enjoyed Rosa and Helen’s parts the most. However, whilst reading the book I found myself quite keenly following the progress that all four of the girls were making, not just with their respective dates but in themselves too and desperately hoped that they would all figure out what they wanted and what would make them truly happy in life. 

Eva Woods has written a highly amusing story in the Ex Factor with many hilarious moments and although it acknowledges a couple of more serious topics not too much time is spent dwelling on them. What was also nice about this book was the way it wasn’t like normal books of this genre with a predictable ending but it instead kept you guessing about what was going to happen for each of the girls until the very end. The only comment I would make is that because the conclusion to the stories came right at the end, it did feel a little bit rushed. Also, unlike other books I’ve read of the genre, it offers a somewhat different perspective on dating that wasn’t fixated on sex scenes which was quite refreshing. 

The Ex Factor was undoubtedly a quick, easy and entertaining read written by an author who I’d definitely like to read more from in the future. I think this is one of those books that would be a perfect pick-me-up now the nights are getting darker - it certainly put a smile on my face.