Monday, 29 March 2021

Review: Girl 99 by Andy Jones

 Before Tom finds The One, he needs to find himself.

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.

Tom’s first mistake is sharing this information with his best friend El. His next mistake is listening when El suggests that he bring his eighty-five up to a nice, neat one hundred.

It was never going to be a good idea, not least because everything else in Tom’s life is in complete chaos. His best friend is dying of a slow and cruel disease, his teenage sister is at war with his well-meaning but dogmatic father, his elderly neighbour is having romantic problems (and makes a dreadful cup of tea), and he has to shoot four commercials with four children and a bad-tempered producer.

And then Tom meets Verity. Whether she’s The One remains to be seen, but she’s certainly more than just another number.


Review: I have read and enjoyed Andy Jones's books previously so I thought this one would be similar. I was certainly pleased to see a character returning from Andy's debut novel El. He is Tom's best friend and is also the best friend in Just The Two of Us. I love the fact that El is gay and living with a disability but is still a fully formed character with a wicked sense of humour. Authors too often put in a disabled or gay character just to tick a box in their writing and so it was great to see El back again. 

I had a hard time warming to Tom, our main character, as this book went on. I think that this is because he's just not the kind of person I would be friends with or really even cross paths with in real life and so I had trouble getting to know what he was all about. In my opinion he was really quite sexist and narrow-minded and so I really didn't warm to him. He is also well-written though and this is just a personal opinion. 

In fact I struggled to come down on whether I actually enjoyed this book or not because of all the talk of getting to a certain number of sexual partners. That's just not the kind of thing I would sit down and judge someone by. I feel like the concept or trying to get to a higher number or stopping because your number is already to high is just really out dated and there are other judgements you make at the same time as making that one. I understand that this book wasn't written yesterday and so the attitudes were slightly different a few years ago but the whole concept just didn't sit with me. 

There are also other things that the male characters do that kind of go hand in hand with talking about Tom's sexual conquests that I really didn't enjoy either. Their judgement of others is very much based on looks and their assumptions they make about a lot of the women they discuss is based around how that women dresses and how easy she might be to get into bed. I did persist in listening to the entire book because I wasn't sure if there would be a moral to all the laddish behavior exhibited by a lot of the characters and I was also hoping that the sensitivity displayed by Andy Jones in his previous books might shine through. Unfortunately it didn't and it wasn't and so I can't in good faith recommend this book. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US


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