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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chicklit detox
My sister lent me this book when I was reeling from having read several dreadful chicklit novels. I won't name and shame them here but I was close to despairing of my favourite genre when I started The Dating Detox.
What a pleasant surprise. It had a likeable heroine in Sass who wasn't a moron, was able to manage her money, wore high street clothes and was pretty...
Published on 24 Oct. 2011 by Trish23

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh!
Meh. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it.
The predictable-happy finale was good and earned it its third star.
However this book didn’t capture me very much, the plot was a bit flat… it lacked tension. Definitely wasn’t gripping. Really, half of the book was practically the narration of useless day-to-day activities; the author spent too...
Published 5 months ago by Sara


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chicklit detox, 24 Oct. 2011
By 
Trish23 (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dating Detox (Paperback)
My sister lent me this book when I was reeling from having read several dreadful chicklit novels. I won't name and shame them here but I was close to despairing of my favourite genre when I started The Dating Detox.
What a pleasant surprise. It had a likeable heroine in Sass who wasn't a moron, was able to manage her money, wore high street clothes and was pretty good at her job.
It had a warm, flirty, slow burning romance, a great cast of supporting characters and it was fun and romantic. I loved it.
After being dumped six times Sass has sworn off dating for three months and embarked on what she calls a 'dating sabatical' and early in the novel she relates the story of each doomed romance and it's ending. One of the things I really liked in this book was that the male characters weren't just the usual chicklit staples - the dull duds and the bastards. Sass has lots of male friends who are all portrayed as regular human beings with their own dating and relationship issues,some even demonstrating emotional maturity on more than one occasion. This means that Sass can't fall back on the usual chicklit heroine 'all men are bastards' whine about her string of disasters because she knows they aren't. There has to be more to it and it is interesting and fun to follow Sass as she gradually figures herself out and re-evaluates the relationships that have prompted her to steer clear of dating.

Gemma Burgess also manages to do what so many chicklit authors don't even realise they need to do - she makes us fall in love with the hero too, we feel the pull, we smile at the flirting, when he's 'off stage' we wonder when we'll see him again. This is so rare in chicklit now that I hardly realised how much I missed it until I felt it here and it makes a huge difference. Huge.
After all the 'is chicklit dead' furore of the last month I have to say that, while I had been starting to wonder, on the evidence of this novel - definitely not.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly different, 1 Feb. 2010
This review is from: The Dating Detox (Paperback)
Quirky, funny and real. `The Dating Detox' offers a new and refreshing voice, taking `chic-lit' past Carrie Bradshaw and giving Bridget Jones a wink on the way. Sass is a strong character. She has flaws, she has strength, she has personality, she's straight talking, likeable and the kind of woman that I'd want as a friend. (That's important, isn't it?). I think that's why I'm so choosy about what I read from this genre (now that I'm in my 30s). I don't want to feel old, past it and out of touch with the modern woman. I want a main character that I `get' and one that has life experiences that I can understand.

Gemma Burgess connects reader to character, by creating Sass, an open-hearted and honest lead. And as Sass talks about her dating disasters and the `types' of men that she's `experienced', I found myself laughing out loud and nodding my head.

`The Dating Detox' is a book about female friendships, about solidarity and about personal growth. The writing feels effortless and has a warmth that will appeal to any lover of this genre, even more so to those who are slightly tired by repetitive rom-com stories. This anti-romantic comedy is refreshing and it's one that I've already recommended to several single girl friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roll on with book 2!, 11 Oct. 2011
By 
Best Crime Books "Best Crime Books" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Dating Detox (Kindle Edition)
I have been reading a few authors new to me lately and Gemma Burgess is no different. Her debut novel was released late 2009 and she has since released another book and her third is due out sometime soon. I managed to snag this on my Kindle for the bargain price of £1.99 and was looking forward to another hopefully good girlie read. I was wrong, this wasn't good...it was great!

The book is written by Sass and almost immediately I realised this was a book absolutely made for me. I almost had the feeling that I was having a phone conversation with a friend and she was keeping me updated on what was going on. Sass is a great character and I loved the fact that the book was about staying away from men. It is clear that although Sass is a complete nightmare and lacking in things such as confidence, she is also extremely loveable. She is extremely funny and warm and I found myself on more than one occasion actually snorting with laughter (not attractive I know).

This book is not meant to be taken seriously and no it's not mentally challenging (but that is NOT my forte) so it suited me down to the ground. The best part of this book is the absolute realism to it. I loved the way Sass spoke to her friends Bloomie and Kate, largely because that's the way I speak to my friends. The biggest and most funny aspect was I almost felt like this book took me down memory lane. The reminiscing and word plays that went on, as well as the drinking and stumbling around drunk was all too familiar.

This book is NOT to be taken too seriously. It is however a true testament to the life of a single girl in her late twenties, soon to be thirty. I loved the whole book and absolutely loved the ending. I adored the girls, the male friends and even the people Sass worked with. I was a part of this story and for that reason I would highly recommend to all you ladies out there that want a highly entertaining read.

Roll on for me with book 2!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious when you don't take it too seriously, 30 Jan. 2011
By 
This review is from: The Dating Detox (Paperback)
After her sixth relationship in a row fails, Sass has finally enough from dating and getting dumped by guys. She wants no more heartache so she decides to start a dating detox. No dating and flirting is allowed for at least three months.
At first Sass wonders if the non-dating will really change her life however she soon realizes that without it she can finally concentrate on making smarter decisions. Soon she is happier than ever and even her job is finally everything she wished for.
But what will Sass do when the three months are up and a men, Jake, comes into her life who could be perfect for her? Will she be able to trust her feelings and give their relationship a chance?

"The Dating Detox" is a book that I enjoyed because on the one hand it's a hilarious chick-lit story that made me laugh a lot and on the other book it's about a woman who learns to trust into herself.
Sass is a very funny heroine and I loved the way she told her story. Especially when she was talking about her ex-boyfriends I had to laugh a lot. She was never mean in contrary had to learn to not always be a "pleaser" who thinks that she has to make others like her and who always thinks that she was at fault. I loved reading how she became stronger and how she learned to stand up for her own ideas and feelings. I also enjoyed reading about Sass's friends and that they went together though good and bad times.
The love story between Sass and Jake had time to develop. Their banters were very entertaining and one of my highlights of the book. I also enjoyed that the heroine had a good relationship with her parents because it's a nice change to the many heroines that had the most horrible childhood.
Throughout the story the heroine made some stupid decisions but I loved that she learned from them. There were also some situations that were a bit over the top (mainly with partying and alcohol) but it never was too much to not enjoy these scenes.
I already bought and started reading another book by Gemma Burgess because I want to read more of her engaging writing style, her likable characters and her hilarious story lines.

cover
It's ok, the way the woman is drawn looks a bit weird to me.

final appraisal
"The Dating Detox" is a book that made me laugh on nearly every page. The mix of hilarious scenes, great characters and the development of the heroine was just perfect and I'm happy that I found another awesome chick-lit book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great read!, 31 Aug. 2013
This review is from: The Dating Detox (Kindle Edition)
The story follows 28 year old Sass as she embarks upon a dating sabbatical after being dumped for the 6th time. She has sworn herself in with the help of best friend Bloomie and dedicates herself to sticking to the sabbatical rules for 3 months. She takes hold of her men-free life with two hands. Until Jake, gorgeous, funny Jake. Her dating sabbatical rules didn't account for meeting someone she might actually like. Sass has to decide if her sabbatical has run its course or if Jake is just another guy likely to break her heart.

This is the first book by Gemma Burgess I'd read and I really enjoyed it. I kept it, so that's a good sign that I liked it enough to probably want to read it again. It is written in the 1st person, only ever as Sass, the main character which I really liked as a change from books being written in the 3rd person. I am guessing that it is Gemma's preferred style as her other book A Girl Like You is also written in the 1st person. I also find that when a story is in the first person it's like seeing the story from their eyes as opposed to watching the characters and the story unfold around them.

Sass is very easy to like and imagine as just an ordinary girl and as I've said it is easy to see everything through her eyes as the story unfolds. One of the things I enjoy most about reading is escaping into someone else's world for a couple of hours and I found it really easy to do that with this book. The only thing that I wasn't too sure whether I liked or not about it being written this way was that Sass quite often talks and has conversations with herself. Some of her conversations could equally have been had with her friends. Although I can't relate to her dating drama I'm sure there are loads of girls who could empathise with Sass having been in the same situation.

After starting the sabbatical Sass comes more into her own and becomes increasingly self-assured as the no men rule seems to have a positive effect on the other aspects of her life. Sass is easy to relate to in the other aspects of her life as there is no glamour or billion pound bank balances and appears to face the same issues as your everyday girl would - job worries, fashion worries, money worries. Inspiration for Sass's career has obviously came from Gemma herself who worked as a copywriter in advertising in London.

The story is mainly set in London with brief stints in the English country side and New York. I might have mentioned before that London is one of my favourite places so that really appealed to me; however Gemma knows New York inside out, where, I later discovered, she lives, which made it easy to picture when I was reading it. The only thing I would have liked to see in the book was maybe a chapter from Jake's point of view, other than that I thought this was a really good, funny (I think I actually did laugh out loud at one point) read.

Erin x
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, 29 May 2013
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This review is from: The Dating Detox (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this book and would recomend it to anyone in need of a good giggle. It is possibly one of the funniest books I have read recently. It is witty and the 'banter' between the characters is brilliantly done. It was very easy to relate to Sass and you can just imagine every situation. If you want a strong male lead this is the book for you! Jake is brilliant and I wish there were more guys like him in this type of book. I love the way he is described and his humour is witty and he is a very different hero to the ones we are used to. All the secondary characters are well fleshed out and believable. The friendship group is very well described and the characters stick with you. The tone of writing too is new to me and I love the way that it's almost conversational. Trust me it works.

If you don't like swearing and drunken antics this probably isn't for you. But for me, it just made it more realistic. Yes there are some 'convieniant' plot devices but they are easy to overlook and lets face it, it's part and parcel of the genre. From the start you know that she is somehow going to bump into old friends in odd places and that is part of Sass' developpment. It was great to see how she reacted in each situation and watch her gain confidence after so many set backs.

I read it in a day then read it again almost immediatly. I lent it to my sisters and they loved it too, we often read sections aloud to eachother and many hours of giggling have ensued. Well worth the buy!

Jake is... :p
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun!, 4 July 2012
This review is from: The Dating Detox (Paperback)
After reading (and loving) A Girl Like You by Gemma Burgess, I was keen to read more by her so when I spotted this book in my local Tesco I just had to buy it.

The start of the book is kind of an explanation as to why Sass is off men (I have to admit that if the same thing happened to me I'd probably feel the same way), it also gives detailed background information on her previous relationships (again not a pretty picture).

I love the conversational style of writing, it made it very easy to read, almost like chatting to an old friend. There were so many funny moments and I laughed out loud so often my husband had to check that I was ok! Bad language is featured quite strongly throughout the book so if that is something that might offend you then this is probably not a book for you.

Sass was a fantastic character, I really, really liked her and could imagine being friends with her. She certainly over-thinks things, (which is definitely something I'm guilty of) and she also says `dude' a lot (something that was ok to begin with but did start to annoy me as I progressed through the book). Her friends were also a lot of fun, they were easygoing and generally a great crowd of people - I felt attached to them all by the end.

The whole idea of Sass's three-month dating sabbatical really intrigued me and I couldn't wait to see what she would do when it ended. Having been married for many years now, I find it really interesting to read books about the dating scene (it often makes me feel glad that I don't have to go through all that any more).

The group weekend away was brilliant to read, it was so much fun and I could easily picture their crazy drunken antics. The chemistry between Sass and Jake was great, their wordplay banter was very funny and I couldn't wait to find out if they would ever get it together.

This is a fresh, fun and enjoyable book that really made me laugh!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Get some Sass in your life!, 15 May 2010
By 
Kathryn Eastman "Nut Press" (Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Dating Detox (Paperback)
Any initial doubts I had about the book vanished in the space of a very few pages. Sass saw to that. She is an exceptionally likeable, real and endearing character, the kind of woman you'd like to have as a friend. I loved her voice throughout the book, as well as her attitude and sheer Sass-iness. She's also made me look at clothes in a whole new light and I will certainly consider my choice of outfit more carefully after having read this book. I found myself looking forward to Sass and her (sometimes twice-daily) creating and naming of the outfit routine. Way to make the ordeal of what to wear fun!

While Sass is the main character, and a very dominant one at that - well, it is her story, after all - there is a fabulous supporting cast of friends and co-workers and Gemma brings these to life with equal flair. The friendships and relationships in the book feel real and genuine, as do the characters. I also love that Sass gives her ex-boyfriends great nicknames, which help us build up a picture of the men she's dated and why she might not have had the long-term relationship she was perhaps hoping for.

The Dating Detox is a fantastic read and I wholeheartedly recommend it. If, as the blurb says, life is a party, then this book is not only full of life but its very own paperback party. Get the drinks in, put on your best party outfit, kick off your dancing shoes and curl up and enjoy. You'll be reading it into the wee small hours, I guarantee it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Coincidence?, 27 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Dating Detox (Paperback)
I have been dumped 3 times - all in 3 weeks! Of a guy I dated for 5 months, then a guy who Ive met straight after that and my long term "f buddy" too - just when I neeeded him the most. My life became a silly chick-lit joke and I felt suffocated. My friend listened to my agony and said - "you should have a little break in dating. I think you will need it." She set up a date for me and said I shall avoid dating completely. I thought its not gonna work, I need at least a year not dating after all these catastrophies. After a few days I realized that Im calmer then ever. Im not stressing. I didnt feel "guilty" for not trying to meet someone new. I was relaxed. I found this book IN MY BOOK SHELF and started to read it. I have no memories when did I buy this but I thought its soooo karma that I found it now when Im on my own dating detox. So the book was amazing! I liked the style, I liked how fast it was at some places and how slow in others. It felt like it was a biography, like a true story (maybe just because my life is around this topic at the moment...). So I really loved it and I already recommended it to my friend (the one who suggested my very own Sabbatical). Great book. I will keep it! (BTW I have 13 days left until my Sabbatical ends.:)))
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really Delivers the Laughs, 29 Dec. 2010
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This review is from: The Dating Detox (Paperback)
I bought this book after happening upon Gemma Burgess' Name That Bastard website (a call out for help with naming the bastard of her next book) and it made me snort loudly with mirth. This was encouraging.

The Dating Detox marks itself as an `anti romantic comedy'. And while this is true in the sense that the main focus is not purely about the protagonist finding a man, there are plenty of romantic goings-on within the pages, for those of you who like to read about lurve.

What stood out for me while reading this book was the voice. Its witty, conversational tone made me feel as if I knew the character of Sass and experienced the journey of the dating detox alongside her. It was kind of like chatting to a mate. A hilarious mate. The supporting cast were fun, unique and a joy to read.

I like my novels with a large dose of comedy. And The Dating Detox really delivers the laughs. Gemma has a brilliant way with words. The dialogue was sparkly and sharp, the situational comedy well observed, and the various bastardos (in particular, Rick) total comedy brilliance.

This book is slightly left of chick lit. While it contains all the elements of the genre, it does so with a fresh, unabashed take on the lives of women. I loved it. I'm pretty sure you will too.
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The Dating Detox
The Dating Detox by Gemma Burgess (Paperback - 24 Dec. 2009)
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