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on 8 June 2014
The lovely Michelle over at Fluttering Butterflies posted about this one a few weeks ago and it inspired me to pick up my copy and see what her post was all about. She'd asked readers what they thought they would do in Hope's situation and reading everybody's answers was fascinating. Nine Uses for an Ex-Boyfriend (Nine Uses, from now on) definitely throws up a lot of questions and that's one of the things I like about it, there's so much potential for discussion and I think everybody will come away from the book with a different opinion about the situation, which is great.

I've read a few reviews that criticise Hope's behaviour throughout the book, that say she should have been more ballsy, less like a doormat, tried to get even and should never have wanted Jack back. Okay, the way I see it, it's easy to sit there and say how somebody should act, it's easy to say you want a strong female lead who doesn't let a man treat her like crap etc etc. Those are great ideals. But, unfortunately, the vast majority of the time they are unrealistic. If your boyfriend of over a decade, the man you love, the man you've built a home with cheats on you with your best friend, I'm pretty sure you're not going to get over it in an afternoon and display exemplary behaviour at all times. I'm pretty sure you're going to eat your weight in carbs, wallow in self-pity and and wonder what the hell you did to make him leave you, which is precisely what Hope does.

What I loved is how realistic Hope acted. I loved that she doubted herself, blamed herself at first but then slowly began to snap out of that mindset as she gradually tried to get over the relationship. I like that it was gradual, slow process, not just an overnight job like we've seen in countless movies. Sure, her behaviour can be frustrating but so are real people and I think Manning did a brilliant job at showing the various stages Hope goes through in her quest to get over the breakdown of her relationship.

A couple of things that did throw me were the title and blurb, which I thought were quite misleading. I'm still not sure what the title has to do with the story, except for the fact there is an ex-boyfriend involved. The whole 'Nine Uses' element seems completely redundant, as it's not something touched on in the story at all...unless I totally missed something. Did I? Was there a whole 'Nine Uses' sub-plot that completely passed me by? Similarly, I think the blurb was a bit off as well, particularly the teaser at the end of it that talks about true love getting mad and getting even. I went into the book thinking it would be about Hope getting revenge on Jack and Susie for betraying her but it's not something that happens at all. It just struck me as a little odd that the book was set up in the summary as being something it's not at all. These are more issues I had with the marketing side of things rather than the writing itself, which was great, as it always is with Sarra Manning.

Have any of you guys read this one? If so, what did you think? How do you think you would react in Hope's situation? Did you warm to Hope or were you frustrated by her behaviour? Let me know in the comments!
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on 8 February 2012
I have read Sarra's books since I discovered Diary of a Crush in the pages of J17 and have never been disappointed.
Nine uses for an ex-boyfriend is another Sarra Manning classic - my only complaint is that when I start one of her books I can't put it down until I've finished!
Brilliant book, Sarra Manning perfection!
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on 26 January 2015
Took me a while to bring myself to review this because I absolutely adore Sarra Manning's writing style, but this book was very... I'll just say it left me peeved and I found it quite a struggle to get through, hence why I refuse to read it again. I'm not particularly sure how exactly the title ties in, because we don't really get to see Hope *rightfully* exercise these 'nine uses', which I was greatly anticipating! I mean after EVERYTHING, so much more should have happened, but that's just me. Jack shouldn't have got away unscathed if it was down to me... I'm not at all violent, (and yes I know, my last comment doesn't help) but I honestly wanted to jump into the book and give Susie, Jack - Hope too!- a good slap. I give much praise to Sarra Manning for inducing such a strong emotional response from me, because it does show what a wonderful writer she truly is! But I just feel a little disappointed, especially with the ending and Hope's handling of certain situations (the vast majority of them, actually!); she's just so weak, not at all the strong, in control woman the synopsis paints her to be. But I understand that life doesn't always provide a happy ending. But having said that, it is up to *you* to turn that around; you are the route of your own happiness after all, and you shouldn't depend on someone else all the time to bring you that joy, which is what Hope did with Jack, thinking he'd change over time...I understand she was deeply hurt and betrayed but come on! You can't change a man or will him to, he has to want to, and not for you, but for himself. The irony of her name is just so painful; Hope had much too much hope for that hopeless idiot Jack! I'm sorry, but I cannot let myself feel that murderous rage all over again by re-reading haha!

Give it a read if you want, because any book that can make you feel so strongly is a very special book, whether you liked it or not. Although, having read 'YDHTSYLM', 'Unsticky' & 'Nobody's Girl' prior to this, I think this is why 9 uses is quite a disappointment for me; I guess it had a lot to live up to and failed to meet my expectations. Beautifully written, but not at all realistic. I highly recommend "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" if this has left you feeling furious or sad; it honestly won't fail to put a smile on your face :)
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on 7 February 2012
Must admit tho - I much preferred SM earlier 2 books - Unsticky i thought was one of the best 'chick lit' books i have read in years.

I think with SM characters - they are like marmite, you either love or hate. I remember feeling like this when i read 'you don't have you love me' and how i felt about Neve - felt exactly the same was as i do about Hope - neither here or there in terms of personality.

Felt like i wanted to shout at her almost all the way through the book, maybe cos i have never been in that situation ( long term partner cheats on her with best friend) and i really wanted Hope to gain a bit of backbone, seriously how many times did they go through the 'I love you' / Am not sure i love you / i love you scenarios. Maybe cos i've been a happily married woman for 13 years i just didn't get it.

But it is a good read, laugh out loud moments, characters you hated (Susie) & loved (Wilson) and i do like the continous thread of using Skirt in all of her books.

Def worth a read, just a bit too drawn out for me. (agree with another reviewer - would LOVE to read more about Wilson.
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on 5 September 2012
The book itself was worth the read but I kept expecting Jack to become an 'ex' and for some comic twist as she put him to 9 different uses...never happened.

Given an appropriate title, I would have enjoyed the book more. It's up there with other entertaining beach reads.
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on 4 March 2012
This book was certainly not what I was expecting and I would agree with some of the other reveiws on here in terms of the title being mis-leading. I was expecting Hope to take revenge on Jack and Susie but this was not the case and the book was actually quite sad and heartbreaking at times. That said, I still could not put this book down and found that I was hooked all the way through. I could really sympathise with Hope even though I did find that she was a bit of a broken record at time and I felt the need to give her a good shake and talk some sense into her! I did feel that I got to know all of the characters really well and adored Wilson from start to finish! I would recommend this book if you like a romantic read.
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on 26 March 2014
Title has nothing to do with the book. Book is ok if you're a young adult getting over your first relationship with all the angst, heartache, the 'but my heart is ACTUALLY BREAKING' emotions etc............I am sadly past all that and much more 'for god's sake you'll live, get over it'. I mean at what point did this girl not get it? poor advert for a modern woman.
If only she had dumped the bloke and found nine really good uses for him...........lie him flat in the front room use him as a rug; from there get him on all fours use him as a coffee table; get him to wash the car at the weekend; make him spin round in the garden with his arms out and hang washing on him..............Oh god sorry that involved him doing two things spinning whilst holding arms out - forgot men can't multi-task! Now back to the nine uses...........
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on 31 January 2015
As previous reviews have said the book has nothing to do with the title!!
Didn't want to put it down as it made its way through the twists and turns of their relationship.
Not predictable at all as didnt know which way it was going to go.
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on 9 April 2015
Such a realistic, truthful story. It's painful to read in some places but it goes out to anyone who's been cheated on, had their heart broken or drifted apart from a loved one. Not a happy ending but life doesn't always end happily.
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on 13 March 2012
What is the ultimate betrayal? Everyone has differing opinions on this, but catching your boyfriend of 13years having a passionate kiss with your best friend would defiantly be high up there in the betrayal stakes.

Hope and Jack have been together for 13 happy years - well that's how it is seen from the outset. Deep down they are stuck in a bit of a rut. After 13 years they have become stuck in a boring existence with Hope pestering for an engagement ring and Jack unsure of where to go next - unfortunately for Hope it seems to be into the arms of her best friend. Suzie is gorgeous and wild. The reason why Hope became her friend was for her wild life and fun existence but can she really believe them when they said it was only just a kiss? The book centres on trust, or the lack of it. Who really deserves our trust and is it often misplaced? Should we learn to forgive and forget or to trust our instincts? The title is misleading as Jack is by no means an ex-boyfriend. Hope is desperate to make it work and the book centres round them working through their demons to hopefully reach an agreed end result. Hope has a wild temper that spills out on many occasions in this book, could this be a factor in Jack's betrayal?

The book explores a time that every couple will face. It's inevitable that there will be a stage where one half will be unsure as to how to continue but will it make them stronger or tear them apart?

It's hard to write a review of this book without giving too much away - which I would not want to do as you have to experience this book for yourself. Although the title is highly misleading and it did drag in places it is still a very thought provoking book and one that will stay with you for a long time after. In a relationship sometimes there is no right or wrong and this book is proof of that. I found myself varying my opinion with every chapter, and I don't doubt others will be the same.
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