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4.6 out of 5 stars222
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2014
Having never previously read any of Fiona’s books, I was looking forward to discovering a new author and getting lost in her words and, getting lost in the words is exactly what happened with this book.
Take Mum Out is a laugh a minute book about single mother Alice who with two teenage sons, a job and a meringue business, has little time for a love life. When her group of friends decide they want to help Alice out and arrange three dates for her, she is hesitant but decides with her children growing up she deserves someone to spend the rest of her life with. What follows is Alice navigating the dating scene and between trips to Paris, discovering a naked bum on her thirteen year old son’s computer and a stained Liz Earle face cloth; she learns that finding love might not actually be that hard.
Alice was a fantastic protagonist and even though I couldn’t relate to her in certain ways (being a single mother, edging towards forty) I still felt as though I was able to connect with her. She was a really honest woman and I loved how she wasn’t the perfect size eight with perfect features: she was a real woman who was so refreshing and whilst she saw herself as flawed, I found her to be the faultless representation of a modern woman! The other cast were great additions and I really loved the juxtaposition between the men she meets – they all bring something different to the table and all show that loving yourself has to come before someone else loves you.
Alice’s teenage sons were well written characters and bought a myriad of new elements to the plot and perhaps some of the most laugh-inducing scenes. There is something so awkwardly funny about teenage boys in fiction!
Fiona’s writing style is well honed and I felt her mark all the way throughout the book. There was a constant and consistent pace which kept me glued to the pages, eager to find out what would happen next. One aspect I really loved was the un-predictability of the plot: I wasn’t sure where Alice would end up by the end of the book which was refreshing – so often in this genre you can predict the plot easily. I was really satisfied with the book’s conclusion and would actually love to know what happens to these characters in the future!
After reading this really fantastic offering from Fiona, I am eager to go back and read her previous novels and I look forward to plenty more books from her in the future!
Take Mum Out is the funniest book I’ve read so far this year. Full to the brim with love and laughter, this book is one that needs to be on your TBR pile this year!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 13 March 2014
I was chuffed to bits to win this book in a Goodreads giveaway, as I have already got one of the authors' books and had a fairly good idea of what to expect and I wasn't disappointed. This is a fun, easy to read book which really made me chuckle a few times whilst reading it. I suspect it will find its way into a few beach bags this year, and deservedly so, it is perfect for a holiday read - good fun and entertaining, but a story that you don't have to puzzle over, just relax and enjoy. Alice is approaching her 40th birthday, a single parent and mother of two teenage boys, Fergus and Logan. Her three friends decide that it is time she started dating again and a plan is cooked up whereby they will each provide one single, eligible bachelor for her to date by the end of the book. Will she like any, or all of them? Will her sons put a spanner in the works? Her sons are 16 and 13, very similar ages to mine and I really identified with her in this respect. Oh the joy of opening a bedroom door and then having to brave the elements inside to decide what made that disgusting smell! And yes, even though they can be totally gross, there are times when our sons are really all the company we need.

The story flows well, it is witty, funny and entertaining, and I was kept guessing right up to nearly the end. Highly recommended for those times when you just want your reading to be fun!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2014
I really don’t know where to begin in my gushing about how good this book is. Fiona Gibson for me is the absolute Queen of writing down-to-earth, witty and just plain enjoyable books; I refuse to pigeon-hole her in the “Chick-Lit” category, as her books are so much more than that.

The humour is such that although it is a little naughty at times, Take Mum Out as well as her other titles are books that I would have no reservations in recommending to my Mum, Gran, the woman in the hairdressers or a random person on a bus. I have to warn you now though be prepared for ALOT of odd looks from the general public if you take the risk of reading this while you are say, waiting for your train home. I made that mistake and in an effort to cover up my laughter ended up snorting, coughing and then almost choking myself to death in-front of a platform full of commuters! Add that to the fact I then had to stop several times at home to go to the loo, as I was laughing so hard in parts I had pretty much lost control of my bladder as well as several other important faculties, you will hopefully understand just how funny this author’s writing is.

Alice Sweet has been single for approaching 6 years, and although she is happy with her life and her two sons Logan and Fergus, her friends Viv, Kirsty and Ingrid encourage her to think about getting into the dating scene again. In fact they are so encouraging they even offer to set her up with friends that they think she will hit it off with. What ensues can only be described as non-stop mayhem and madness in the most charming and enjoyable of ways.

We are in turn introduced to Giles (10 years younger, with a penchant for the older lady), Charlie (a bit of a drinker, who hasn’t yet reached the maturity level that belies his age) and Stephen (a dentist...) and a series of “dates” with each of them, as well as a diverse and varied cast of characters as the story progresses.

I don't want to give too much more of the story away as the joy I had in reading of Alice’s escapades with these men, her friend’s and pretty much everyone else in the book are something that I urge you to discover and enjoy for yourself, I cannot recommend this book highly enough, Fiona Gibson is a genius when it comes to written comedy, and let’s face it who doesn’t enjoy a bloody good laugh once in a while.

ARC provided through Netgalley, and it was my absolute pleasure to provide the above honest review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2014
‘Take Mum Out’ is definitely one of the best and funniest books I’ve read this year. I was immediately drawn to it by the beautiful cover and fantastic blurb. The blurb itself might seem to say quite a lot about what’s happening in this book, but trust me, it’s not just about the story, it’s about the WAY this story is told and the amount of humor.

Told from the first person (which I do enjoy a lot) it’s a story that will get you hooked from the first page. Alice is divorced, starting out a meringue business (I didn’t know meringue could be such a HIT) and has two teenagers at home. As if her life is not already crazy enough, three of her best friends, talk her into getting back on the dating scene, each one of them trying to fix her up with Mr Right. But not everything goes to plan and these dates turn into some of the most humiliating, disastrous yet hilarious moments in Alice’s life.

There are just soooo many things I loved about this book. First off, the HUMOR. It’s so effortless, so fresh, so addictive. I have no idea how Ms Gibson pulled it off, but gosh..I couldn’t stop laughing. So though you might have read similar chick lits, the humor present definitely makes this book stand out. The dates were funny, Alice is a HILARIOUS character, her relationship with her sons is wonderfully written..should I go on? I told you, there’s just so much to like about this book, in my case..probably everything. I loved everything!

Having two boys of my own, though not teenagers, I could connect with Alice and understand all the things she was going through with her sons. But what I loved the most about all of them, is the fact Alice is a normal, down-to-earth person and has brought up lovely kids. Though they are teenagers, they are normal kids, unlike so many teenagers out there full of rage and anger.

I also loved her best friends and their relationship. Even their efforts to find Mr Right for Alice were too cute and I respected them more for trying so hard to make their friend feel ‘complete’. But don’t get me wrong, Alice is not the whiny type that can’t be complete without a man..OH NO! She’s strong and seems the last thing on her mind is to find a man.

Seems I could go on and on about this book, but it all comes down to this – if you’re looking for a hilarious book you’ll devour in one sitting (or two), look no further. The only thing I’m sorry about is the fact I was interrupted on so many occasions when reading this book, having so much happening in my life right now, it took me more than 2 days to read it. But the good thing is each free minute I’d happily run back to my kindle so I could continue reading. And in my book, this is the best thing that could happen to a reader. Running back to your book and shutting out from everything around you.

I wholeheartedly recommend this to every chick lit fan, or anyone looking for a fantastic, easy to read book filled with humor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 15 March 2014
I'm glad to be able to say that Fiona Gibson belongs to the authors that for sure are going to deliver a great, funny, easy read without creating an exaggerated story. I have read all of her books and have enjoyed all of them, maybe because they are about situations and issues that are close to my heart, and maybe because Fiona Gibson is a great storyteller, or maybe both of the things.

Take Mum Out is about Alice, mum to two teenager sons, working as a school secretary and also starting her own business Sugar Mummy, making and selling meringues. She is still in touch with her ex, who has now a new family, but takes care about Logan and Fergus as well. No need to say that her private life is actually non - existent and, according to her sons, she actually doesn't need any boyfriend because "she's a mum". But well, Alice is alive, isn't she, and she wants to enjoy her life as well. So her three best friends have this idea that they are going to send her on three blind - dates with a man that they are going to choose.
Well, it sounds so simple, but as usually life has its own ideas and gets in the way. The blind dates were ranging, as expected, not from the very ordinary, but rather from the very ridiculous to much more hilarious.
While I enjoyed them immensely, I think it's a pity there were only three men and three dates. I love reading about blind dates, and I would really love to see more of them in this book.

I enjoyed the story told from Alice's point of view, and I enjoyed Alice herself. She was very likeable woman, full of warmth and joy, I adored her sense of humour and the fact that she had a lot of distance to herself just made her more likeable for me. Her relationship with her boys was brilliant and she managed really fantastic with two teenagers. It was great how laid - back she was to her sons although she has had her worries and problems related with the boys. She was greatly coping with her work and her meringues business although sometimes she felt that heaven is falling down on her head, especially when Logan wanted to move out.
The character of Alice's mother was one of the best in this book, she was hilarious but also a woman of a big heart and her interactions with Molly were one of the best in this book.
Logan and Fergus were two very special boys, they were brilliantly portrayed, there was nothing forced in their descriptions and this is really how the teenagers behave. I liked them both but I must admit that I have a lot of respect for Logan, who - although typical teenager - was able to see his faults and recognize them and well, he could communicate like a human being, even with his own mother.
Alice's friends were also great. Each of them had their own problems and their own story, which were mentioned in the plot, and although they were significant for the characters they were not too overwhelming. We knew what they were coping with and I kept my fingers crossed for them, but they didn't overshadow Alice and her own plot. And well, thanks to them we had those blind - dates!
The three man were very different characters and actually I liked all of them, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less but all of them added spice and comic value to the story. It's a real shame that there were only three men and so few dates.

The book shows not only Alices's blooming and full of hope romances but also the relationships between her and her sons, her ex, friends, mother and they were all brilliantly written and pictured, each of them added some joy and importance to the book.

The idea of the book isn't new perhaps, woman going on blind dates with hope to find Mr. Right, while there is her work and children waiting at home who don't make it easier for her, but nevertheless it has worked out for me. There are no over the top ideas in this book which is another plus, the situations are being kept down to earth, everything is so normal, but Fiona Gibson gives normal a face - lifting.
She's funny, she delivers many laughs but also has something to say and writes with certainty and reliability, she knows what she's writing about. She writes the truth with such honesty that it hurts, but in a funny way. Comfort and down - to - earthness dominate in the story but perhaps thanks to those things I enjoyed it immensely. There was a gentleness in this story, nothing was too forced, everything was flying, from page to page, from word to word. This book didn't need any additional fireworks, I am buying it as it is.

Copy provided by publisher in exchange for a review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2014
I began reading two books on the same day and Take Mum Out is the one I couldn't put down. In fact, I giggled so much while reading it in bed that I woke my other half up. No, my pelvic floor didn't give up - my other half is just a light sleeper.

It's not all giggles though - there's some really poignant stuff in there. This is the first Fiona Gibson novel I've read and I'm looking forward to reading more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I love Fiona Gibson and she is, arguably, one of the funniest women's writers around. I was excited to see she had a new book out and eagerly downloaded it to my kindle.

This time we follow Alice, single mum and meringue extraordinaire. Her two teenage boys drive her mad but she wouldn't swap them for all the world. She has a demanding mum with high expectations (which she doesn't feel she can live up to) and some best friends who are determined to bring some love into her life. What could go wrong?

There were parts of this that had me laughing out loud. I really liked Alice and found myself really getting to know her in this book. It was so easy to read and I found myself not wanting to put it down.

I have a few Fiona Gibson's left to read and I can't wait. If you haven't read her before, give any of her books a try, you won't be disappointed!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2014
Fiona's new book is a must read if you have teenagers but even if you don't! It's witty and written in a way that makes you want to read " just one more chapter". Enjoyed it very much as I have done her others and can't recommend it enough... Except if you are dieting. All that talk of meringues had me craving!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2014
Alice is a single mum with 2 teen boys. Her friends want to see her back on the dating scene, after all she is still eligable.
A bit of role reversal here as Alice is not so worried about the boys' dating but the boys are worrying about her.

With some great insights into how getting back into the dating scene as a single mum may be not only daunting but quite funny and eye opening. Have been there and done that, so could identify with Alice and her "dates".

Wonderfully funny but also uplifting read for any single mums out there who might think that their dating days are over. Also an entertaining read for any mum of teens.

4.5 out of 5 for me! Loved it!

review copy
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on 21 May 2014
*Book provided by publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

“What do you need a boyfriend for? You’re a mum.”

Tha’s how Fergus, one of Alice’s son reacts on her going on dates. I love books involving children and this time it was a little different, because Logan and Fergus are already teenager. It was great to get an insight to family life though, I really enjoyed it.
Alice’s a single mom, working as a secretary at a school and having her little meringues business. Then there are her boys, I loved the three oft hem together.

It took my a while to get into the story though. I can’t really say why, because there were some really funny parts and I like Fiona’s writing.

It was interesting followinging Alice’s story and reading about her dates. The dates seemed a little unreal for me and unfortunately Alice’s feelings didn’t come through. She seemed to enjoy the dates and felt a spark and then suddenly it was over. Some decisions were made a little bit too fast form y taste.

Next to Alice’s dating stories, she had to deal with her boys and also their day, so plenty was going on, sometimes almost a little too much.

Alice’s best friends are great. It’s so lovely of them to send her on different dates and we are really kept wondering with whom Alice’s was going to end up. Let’s just say, she made the right choice.

There were some adorable scenes in this book, especially the ones including children, so sweet. On Alice’s birthday the story finally clicked with me and was so glad. Alice has got wonderful friends and amazing sons.

Fiona’s writing is hilarious, sweet and adorable.

Rating: 3.5
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