Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Review of Girl 99 by Andy Jones

The bit on the back...

When Tom’s girlfriend walks out on him the day before Christmas, he feels humiliated but not necessarily heartbroken. Sadie wasn’t, after all, The One. If we’re being precise, she was number eighty-five.

And so, for reasons that are only mostly wrong, Tom embarks on a mission to bring his number of encounters up to a nice neat one hundred.

Over the course of his quest he sleeps with a colleague, a colleague of a friend, a friend of a friend, a friend of a friend’s wife, the estate agent selling his flat and several more besides.

Everything is going, if not well, then at least according to plan…and then Tom meets Verity. Whether she’s The One remains to be seen, but she’s certainly more than just another number.

Firstly thank you to Lake Union for the review title of this copy via Netgalley. Girl 99 is the third novel that I've read by this author and I've enjoyed it equally as much as the other two. If you've read The Two of Us you'll recognise a few names mentioned throughout and one character in particular.

The story starts with Tom's girlfriend leaving him, which on first inspection is his own damn fault. After sharing his experience with best friend El, Tom embarks on a mission to take the notches on his bedpost up to 100. In the beginning Tom comes across as a bit of a sh*thead. He has little regard for the women he's sleeping with and the way he treats them isn't exactly wonderful. He's on what is a pretty selfish mission which all becomes foiled when he meets Verity. Verity doesn't seem as susceptible to Tom's charm as everyone else and for once Tom actually has a chance to get to know her before their friendship goes any further.

If you're looking for a romantic hero, Tom isn't it. What he is though is a very real character who has flaws and makes mistakes. Throughout the whole novel Tom is faced with dilemma - his family, his neighbour and of course the women he is rifling his way through. He knows he's not the best human being and all the way through I got a sense that he was trying to correct little parts of himself at a time.

Just because this story is about a man, written by a man, it definitely does not mean that this book is just for guys. While no doubt the seemingly honest depiction of what it's like to be a single lad will appeal to male readers, female readers will enjoy the story just as much. Andy's written the story in a way which actually makes Tom turn out pretty endearing by the end. You'll laugh out loud and maybe even shed a tear at some bits of it. Again I found El's story to be bittersweet and while Tom is out sleeping his way to 100 El's life is shortening in front of him.

I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more from Andy in the future and if you've not read The Two of Us then I highly recommend it.

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