This was a light frothy read about singleton Charlotte, living in a house share in Hackney, east London with her best friend and fiancé. The book begins when all that is about to change: Maddy and Henry have bought a house, are moving out to the suburbs, with a wedding planned for later that year. Amongst all this change, Charlotte is left realising that she’s single, dreading having to live with new housemates who she’s never met (Henry did the interviews, why?), and her only satisfaction in life is a job at a hedge fund that sees 9-5 hours as part-time.
Proclaiming her life as a predictable routine, Charlotte fixates on one thing she can change: her single status. Low and behold, she finds a podcast that encourages single girls to get there, be adventurous, and you’ll meet guys as a consequence.
Charlotte takes this advice on board and between getting to know Tansy and Adam, (replacement housemates) and wedding preparations, starts engaging in finding ‘Mr Right’ or ‘Mr Right Now’. Weekly activities recommended by the ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ podcast see her having mixed success in finding a new partner and navigating her new reality .
This was a pleasant easy read that wasn’t too taxing, good to pick up and read for short bursts. But it fell down for me around the central premise – the podcast. I didn’t think the podcast as it was presented was edgy, funny or dangerous. And really was it that popular? If it was it would have made the host a famous influencer. And if not, then how did Charlotte find it out of the million podcasts out there. The activities suggested for a ‘bad girl’, such as asking a guy out, playing hard to get, wearing no knickers, buying lingerie, buying sex toys, etc are not what constitutes bad girl activity to me. All pretty tame.
I found Charlotte likable but a tad irritating, a people pleaser, who prioritised other people before herself and then wondered why she was often at work at 10pm when she’d gotten in early at 7am. Resting b**ch face, I think not.
What I did like was the current up to date mentions of London life and the use of technology, social media, etc , Netflix.
What I didn’t like was
- the stated dearth of available men, and then all the men she met were people she’d already knew or were in her network
- how oblivious to romantic interest Charlotte was when it was plain to see and in her face daily
- the issue around her friendship group and toxic members made me glad for friends who spoke to each other when there was an issue and didn’t leave it to fester. Given that they were longstanding friends who met monthly for brunch and were supposed to be tight – this stood out for me
- Tansy’s thread which was built up to be something mysterious, interesting and ended up fizzling out to nothing
- Adam’s character was wasted and unlikeable
- Everything after the wedding.
What kept me reading, well listening was the narration (very good indeed, accents were fab) and finding out who Charlotte ended up with. Which is ironic as I felt badly let down by the ending. It all seemed so meh.
Because everything that happened post the wedding including the coincidences (how likely was the coffee shop meeting and all that signified!!!) appeared as an attempt to wrap the loose ends into a nice tidy bow rather than true to the characters we’d met. So started well and went slowly downhill from there.