Review by Booklist Review
In award-winning Alderton's latest (after her advice-column collection, Dear Dolly, 2023), comedian Andy's long-time girlfriend, Jen, has recently broken up with him, seemingly out of the blue. Andy finds refuge at his best friend's house while trying to get over Jen. This proves to be a little difficult, since his best friend's wife is also friends with Jen. Not only is Andy newly single and in need of a new place to live but his lukewarm career as a comedian takes a hit after he bombs a show. While Andy tries to work through his breakup with booze, self-loathing, and stalking Jen on social media, he finds himself lonelier than ever. Readers are taken along the emotional roller coaster that Andy is on, and they will get a front-row seat to all of the questionable things people do when their hearts are broken. This warm and relatable novel about relationships and heartache will please Alderton's many fans.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Alderton (Everything I Know About Love) delivers a flat anti-love story focused on flailing comedian Andy Dawson and his ex, the "annoyingly loquacious" Jen Bennet. The action kicks off with Andy making a list of justifications for ending the relationship, including Jen's smugness, snobbery, and childishness. He continues to obsess over Jen during bouts of day-drinking and comedy gigs in London, vacillating between fond memories and frustration. Despite his insecurity about his career and his growing bald spot, his treatment of the breakup is awash in arrogance and selfishness. Over several months, Andy and Jen separately come to terms with the direction their relationship was headed (the latter's perspective is provided later in the novel). Andy wanted children and to pursue his artistic dreams, while Jen didn't want a life centered on being a mother or wife. Alderton stitches in attempts at zany humor, such as Andy's brief stint living on a houseboat and his interactions with his best friend's children, but the jokes don't quite land. While the subversion of the typical love story intrigues, the unpalatable characters extinguish its charm. This misses the mark. Agent: Anna Stein, CAA. (Jan.)
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
A struggling 35-year-old British comedian navigates a breakup with his long-term girlfriend. With unmissable echoes of Nick Hornby's High Fidelity, Alderton examines Andy Dawson's excruciating inability to accept the fact that Jen Hammersmith no longer wants to be with him, which leads to various self-destructive behaviors--drinking before noon, cyber-stalking Jen, and embarking on a morally dubious sexual relationship with a woman in her early 20s. Andy is a man who suffers simultaneously from an enormous ego, poor self-confidence, and little self-awareness--character traits that combine to produce mortifying moments. His relationship with Avi, his long-suffering best friend, brilliantly captures the stereotypical male reluctance to express platonic love and to retreat to the pub in times of need. Andy's mum--a single mother who isn't keen on displays of emotion but will readily offer up a medicinal whiskey--deserves more airtime. Pep talks from a more successful comedian friend and an overzealous personal trainer provide a respite from the monotony of Andy's misery, which begins to bore his closest friends and the reader alike. Echoing her earlier novels, Alderton examines how bewildering it can be for single people to find themselves alone in a crowd of married friends who suddenly have more pressing commitments than another pint of lager. But save for a couple of quips about Boris Johnson and the wealth disparity between Andy and Jen, the novel lacks any meaningful social commentary. The way the book makes a late switch to Jen's perspective might remind readers of Lauren Groff's Fates and Furies, but Alderton lacks Groff's mastery and Jen's point of view is dull. While the book is hardly original, it displays a quintessentially British sense of humor (ironic, self-effacing, coarse), and Alderton has a talent for depicting love, flaws and all. An easy read for those with a soft spot for the hopelessly doomed romantic. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.