Jen has dumped Andy, and he's handling the breakup in exactly the way all his friends and family might have expected: very, very badly. Crashing at his mother's house and obsessively photographing his hairline, Andy embraces the rites and rituals of every breakup-the ill-advised decision to move onto a houseboat, the forced merriment of a lads' night out, the accidental late-night text to the ex-all resulting in a never-ending shame spiral. Even as Andy tests the waters of a new relationship, he finds himself drawn back to Jen, revisiting old texts and emails, trying to figure out what truly went wrong.
Delivers the most delightful aspects of classic romantic comedy — snappy dialogue, realistic relationship dynamics, humorous meet-cutes and misunderstandings — and leaves behind the clichéd gender roles and traditional marriage plot ... Alderton excels at portraying nonromantic intimate relationships with tenderness and authenticity ... She doesn’t need to try so hard ... Jen’s illuminating perspective reminds the reader of the socialized gender dynamics that are impossible to escape in heterosexual relationships — ones that are damaging to both parties, but especially unfair to women.
Warm and generous ... The narrowness of scale could risk feeling repetitive or leaden, but Alderton captures the myopia and obsessiveness that sudden heartbreak can bring, using both satire and compassion ... here’s much to enjoy here, not least Alderton’s willingness to allow in some narrative ambivalence: while Andy’s sorrow is humanely sketched, it also often leans towards self-indulgence. She’s got a good ear for dialoguehere’s much to enjoy here, not least Alderton’s willingness to allow in some narrative ambivalence: while Andy’s sorrow is humanely sketched, it also often leans towards self-indulgence. She’s got a good ear for dialogue ... May not rewrite ideas about contemporary sexual politics, nor offer new insights into the minefield of mid-30s dating, and more space for Jen’s fascinatingly anguished storyline might have provided a piquant counterpoint to the novel’s bouncy and very British comic sensibility.