Thursday, 17 October 2013

Bargain Read Review: No-One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday - Tracy Bloom

Never has a late-night stand led to such chaos! 
Childhood sweethearts Matthew and Katy agree they must never see each other ever again after they end up in bed together following a school re-union. 
So all is forgotten...until eight months later when a shock meeting at an antenatal class forces them to confront the fact that Matthew could be the father of Katy's baby. Oblivious to the mayhem unfolding, Matthews highly strung wife frets over giving birth to twins and Katy's much younger boyfriend refuses to take fatherhood seriously. 
Love and life are messy but Katy and Matthew take things to a whole new level as deep emotions begin to resurface and hormones run riot. 
How will they navigate their way through this almighty pick-up?

Disclaimer: I really don't like writing negative reviews of books for several reasons: firstly, let's be honest, authors have a considerable amount of talent and have slaved away for hours to produce their work and no one should dismiss that; secondly, someone who knows a damn sight more than I do thought that the book was worth publishing, so it can't be all that bad; and finally, books are so subjective just because I didn't like it doesn't mean that you won't.

Having said all that, this is my blog and these are my opinions and share them I will!

The more shrewd amongst you may have gathered that I didn't all together love No One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday and my little disclaimer at the beginning may have been a little confusing considering I've never really pulled any punches before. However, with No-One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday things become a little tricky. I don't think that No-One is necessarily a bad book, I've certainly read far worse, I just really didn't think that it was a good book either. 

You all know that I love a good success story so when I was hunting for a bargain read and came across Tracy's story on the Amazon homepage I thought that I definitely had to give her book a go. You can read Tracy's story here, but essentially bored and at a loss when pregnant Bloom wrote and subsequently published her debut novel to considerable reader acclaim gaining over 1,500 reviews averaging at 4 stars on Amazon. With a reader reception like that I definitely had to give book a go.

No-One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday actually has a subtitle, namely "a very funny romantic novel". I think part of the problem with the romance genre today is that anything that broaches the subject of relationships or coupledom is instantly deemed a romance novel. This is not so. I think it is a considerable stretch to categorise No-One as anything resembling a romance novel.

(Actual review) I found the characters in No-One one dimensional and clichéd, with little charm to recommend or elevate them. Our leading lights, Katy, Ben and Matthew are completely unsympathetic and I found it really hard to care about any of them. Katy and Ben do not seem to be a healthy functioning couple and the attraction between Katy and high-school sweetheart Matthew was far too underdeveloped.

Not caring about any of the characters meant that I really couldn't get involved in the love-triangle aspect. The padding surrounding Katy's character was ill-thought out and poorly executed, her actions seemed disjointed and, frankly, quite immature and reckless. Ben, Katy's boyfriend, is your typical 'lager-lout' presenting little to like or sympathise with, despite the hurried attempt by Bloom at growth at the end of the novel. Matthew's characterisation was focused solely on what he didn't want, he came across as incredibly whiney and ungrateful and I just couldn't give a fig about him either. The only character I felt any emotion for was Matthew's poor neglected wife, who at least seemed like a fairly fleshed out character, even if her purpose seemed merely to annoy the reader and add some questionable reasons to Matthew's actions.

I will credit Bloom with the fact that she has written a fairly witty novel. However, as much as I love Brit-lit (and I do, I will be expanding on this soon you'll be glad to hear) I think that Bloom's book is a little bit too British to the point where much of the humour will be lost on non British readers (I road tested this theory on a transatlantic friend but do correct me in the comments if I'm wrong!). But despite being funny and relatively entertaining, as well as being a particularly short novel (only 190 pages), I found myself not caring about the outcome at all and I actually resorted to skimming the last quarter of the book just to get to the end. I think Bloom focused too much on the humour element of the novel with the result being that the plot is a bit all over the place without ever resulting in a real conclusion or meaning. 

Overall I think that No-One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday is the perfect example of a polarising book, people clearly loved it, I'm just not one of them. Tracy Bloom's debut novel (along with her second) are priced at only 99p for the Kindle on, so why not give it a go and let me know what you think of it in the comments below.

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