I suppose it's unfair to compare this piece of fluff with the mistress of the genre, Marian Keyes, but I was having a very pleasurable chick-lit readathon and read this one after the joyous Ms Keyes. Ouch. The story idea is excellent, but the characters were so shallowly drawn I was surprised to discover this is something like her 3rd or 4th book.
There was absolutely no voyage of discovery or life lessons learnt, just three sketchily drawn best friends who utterly conformed to stereotype - the vampy single friend, the bitchy gay friend, the sweet married friend with kids - plus a main character with no mixed feelings, contrary behaviour or inner life whatsoever. These characters change not a jot within the novel, and some promising leads about their lives remain undeveloped.
The premise is that Amelia is 38 and unhappily single. She enrols in a course which aims to show her where she went wrong, by making her connect with all her old boyfriends and getting the lowdown from then on why she didn't measure up as a long-term partner. Rather than developing it into a look why many lovely, seemingly normal women remain single into their 30s and 40s, it goes for cheap laughs by setting up a series of set pieces and a lot of (not very good) one liners. The ex who was actually gay! The ex who was a serial cheat! The ex who became a priest! The ex who was a conman! Basically all the main character discovers * SPOILER * is that she chooses lame men but other than that is utterly wonderful and perfect. I give it two stars cos it's a good idea, and there are some snappy one liners.
Oh yeah, and with a title like that, you wouldn't want to read it on the train.
Good chick-lit draws you in, wraps you up, comforts you and makes you learn something about yourself and the ways of the world. Poor check-lit gives the rest of the genre a bad name. A good idea wasted, and deeply unsatisfying.