“ Author: Lucy-Anne Holmes / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 03 April 2009 / Genre: Modern & Contemporary Fiction / Publisher: Pan Macmillan / Title: 50 Ways to Find a Lover / ISBN 13: 9780330458399 / ISBN 10: 0330458399 „
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The book is sexy, fun, and will have you giggling along or shouting 'God No!'.
It follows Sarah, a slighty self absorbed, unlucky in love spinster and her search for a man. Her friend and room mate convince her to blog about her challenge of finding a man, be it through speed dating, online and every other avenue you can possibly think of. There are points of the book which are possibly a bit too predictable but it doesn't detract from the fact this book is a fun, simple and easy read, which captures the reader and has them engrossed from start to finish waiting for her to find that Mr Right.
However, the book is bloody annoying at the same time. Sarah has one relationship in the book that goes completely to pot and she just seems to take it and not be a vengeful nasty cow like I know so many of us would be. Plus the fact she moans a lot, more than anybody should about the things she does and that she is so wrapped up in herself that she can't see what is under her nose. Other than that it's a good book.
So even though I guarantee there will be parts of the book that make you want to grab Sarah Sargeant and give her a good shake whilst shouting 'Open your eyes you stupid woman and look at what you already have!!!' I can also guarantee you will be compelled to read the book and not put it down until you've finished it, amidst tears and laughs.
I'm trying to resist buying any new novels at the minute but I keep reading so many tempting and intriguing book reviews! I've started keeping a list in my bag and trawling through the library shelves with my wish-list. '50 Ways to Find a Lover' was one that I'd noted down because it had sounded like a fairly easy-going, easy to read chick lit novel and it certainly lived up to my expectations in that respect.
The story centres around Sarah Sargent who hasn't been in a relationship for three years and nine months (to be precise!). After being rejected by a baldy with a paunch down her local pub, Sarah is ready to give up on the idea of ever having a relationship again but her family and friends have other ideas! Reluctantly, Sarah is persuaded to start a quest for a new man, with an online blog being the focal point of her strategy to find love. The blog as you'd expect has what the author would no doubt describe as 'hilarious consequences.' In non-literary speak, I'd have to admit that the blog and its fallout do make for an interesting and amusing storyline, particularly as I haven't read any other novels that acknowledge the true extent that the internet has to play in dating and socialising and general nowadays.
The novel is very 'of its time' and reflects contemporary popular culture well, with lots of references to reality shows like X Factor and modern celebrities such as Kate Winslett, Simon Cowell and Jade Goody. This will clearly make the book date very quickly and I'm not so sure that it will have particularly long lasting appeal as a piece of fiction. The whole premise of the book and Sarah's quest to find love concentrates on relatively new methods of finding love with Sarah trying out speed-dating, online agencies and lonely hearts ads. She even applies to be a contestant on a reality tv programme!
There is some strong language at points with the use of the 'F' and 'C' words seeming pretty prolific for a book of this nature but it didn't affect my enjoyment of the story at all. There are also some pretty explicit description of sexual acts at one point - although, unfortunately for Sarah, they are embellishments that she makes to spice up her blog rather than accounts of her amazing encounters! This is something that most of us could identify with and provided some genuine 'laugh old loud' moments, believe me!
As a principal character, Sarah is likeable and comes across as a person that could easily be a friend in real life. She is flawed and the author has seen fit to cast her as an unsuccessful actress, filling in time as a waitress. This gives the character the opportunity to do all those mundane things that we can all identify with, as well as giving her the possibility of mixing in much more glamorous circles which, of course, she does do. The secondary characters are also likeable and interesting, with a good mix of young characters including Sarah's flatmate and friends and older family members, dishing out well-meant, often unintentionally funny advice in the way that only family can!
This is a pleasant novel and I read it easily within the space of a few days. It wasn't a gripping read as such but I was genuinely interested to read what the outcome would be for Sarah and whether or not she would end up 'living happily ever after' which is essentially what Sarah is looking for. I was also keen to find out whether my own hunch about the direction that the story was taking woud prove to be correct and it was indeed, although I don't imagine that it is the most unlikeliest of endings. There were a few twists and turns but it was quite easy to predict what was coming and just who Sarah would end up with. The author does throw in a handful of potential suitors to muddy the waters though and there was sufficient suspence over the identity of Sarah's eventual 'Mr Right' to maintain my interest right up until the end.
I'd recommend this as a pleasant light hearted read for anybody that enjoys chick lit. It's not going to set the world alight with its literary magnificence but it is a positive, funny and engaging read. This is Lucy Ann Holmes' debut novel and I'll be looking out for more from her in the future.
I don't read a lot of chick lit, but the title of this book caught my attention and I thought I'd give it a go, in the hope of it being light and fun. And it was.
The story is told by Sarah Sargeant, who is nearly thirty and doesn't have much luck with men or acting jobs. Her family, best friend Julia and flatmate Si convince her to set out on a quest to find a good man, and to write a blog about it as she goes along. Will Sarah's quests lead her to a fulfilling relationship or will she become addicted to the lifestyle of hunting for men and blogging about it?
The book is written in an easy to read style and I was able to jump straight into it. It's told in the present tense which normally annoys me, but with this novel I barely noticed it. I must admit it took me a while to warm up to Sarah as a character, because she is quite self obsessed, whiny and moany, but after a while I grew to enjoy reading about her. The characters are all quite realistic and well fleshed out, and there's quite a few different men who Sarah could potentially end up with, which adds some intrigue to the story (though unfortunately I read a couple of reviews on here first which gave the ending away).
The best thing about this book is how funny it is. I was often laughing out loud or grinning as I read it. It's also easy to become absorbed in the story and I found the book tricky to put down. The ending brought me to tears as well which is always a good sign that a book's had an effect on you.
However there are some annoying parts to the book. Firstly it's incredibly crude, with a lot of very bad language and some really disgusting metaphors and very explicit 'encounters'. And secondly, Sarah makes a really stupid decision not to allow a man to explain something to her, which just makes no sense. If you really like a guy, wouldn't you let him explain away a potential misunderstanding rather than cutting him off and stopping all content? It is really irritating and seems like lazy plotting to me.
Despite these issues though, I enjoyed the book and couldn't bring myself to give it less than four stars.
(also posted on Amazon.co.uk)
This is a witty and gritty chick lit. I found the heroine relatable, even if some of her actions would be different from mine. I thought I'd out-grown the genre, but this made it fun again, without taking itself seriously. It made me laugh and it moved me, it entertained me and it kept me up until late reading it. What more can you ask for?
Sarah is long term single; she has just been rejected by the fat, bald bloke who works in her local pub and has now reached a new low. Under pressure from friends and family she ends up trying to get on a reality TV show and starts a blog of her quest to find a man. From speed dating to trying to meet people at work (and trying to get work) Sarah gives everything a go. Of course, not everything goes according to plan otherwise it would be a short book! If you are expecting her to explore 50 different ways though, you will be disappointed. Any negatives would be Sarah's tendancy to mope though, this seemed a bit more than normal.
I thought the book fairly well-written and accessible. It was esy to get into, the book flowed well, there were no dull lulls or pointless side plots. It was funny and light hearted, and the characters were interesting and realistic: there were no stereotypes or parodies. I found this quite a 'grown-up' chick lit book. Although the heroine was only 29, I didn't feel patronised by the book, or inadequate as the character had an element of realism about them, they didn't all have fabulous careers, looks or lifestyles, they were just 'regular'. I think one bugbear I have with the worst type of chick lit is the stereotype perfect heroine who can't get a man. Sarah was 'regular' sized, a waitressing would-be actress (OK, not that regular a job) and had normal friends and parents. This book had an element of unpredictability about it, as Holmes attempted to muddy the waters a bit, so you couldn't always predict what was coming, which also gave it an edge over some others of its peers.
The book is not going to win literary awards; it is a fun romp about one woman's quest to find love even when she wasn't sure that was what she wanted. I was unaware that there was a real blog behind this book when I read it, so took it just as a book. It is well written, but not for the easily offended - there is a lot of swearing in it. All in all if you are looking for an entertaining, lightweight read than this is worth a go. It's definitely marketed as 'chick lit', but for the chick lit snobs this is probably at the top end of the spectrum, mostly similar to Bridget Jones' Diary. I would look out for this author again.
I picked this book up at the supermarket a couple of weeks ago and have spent the last few days reading it. I'd never read anything else by the author before but I was intrigued by the blurb on the back cover.
Sarah is an out-of-work actress who is experiencing something of a romance drought. Having being knocked back by a man who she didn't even really like in favour of a Narnia DVD, she is so humiliated that she decides to turn her back on love forever. This proves to be rather difficult though as her family enter her into a reality television programme that is looking for unlucky in love people to help them find their Mr or Mrs Right. Buoyed by this, Sarah starts up a blog in which she talks about her intentions to do 'quests' to find a man (for example, pulling in a pub). Despite Sarah barely knowing what a blog is, it becomes a bit of a hit.
Sarah is a thoroughly likeable character who is quite bubbly and infectious. She is surrounded by a group of similar friends, including best friend Julia (who is dragged into some of the quests for her) and flatmate Simon. The other main characters include men that she meets as a result of her quests, notably Paul and Eamonn. None of the characters irritated me, which is probably a first for me!
***The Writing Style***
It is written in the first person. Some of the chapters include excerpts from Sarah's blog, including some of the posts that she has written and some of the comments that she has received on the blog. For the most part though, it just takes the form of a regular book.
As you may have guessed from my brief plot outline, this is a chick lit book through and through. It is very light hearted and easy to read, and makes no pretence at being anything else really. The ending is quite predictable and I had suspicions that it would end as it did from about halfway through but this is often the case with chick lit books so it isn't a criticism as such. All in all, this is a very enjoyable book with some quite amusing parts.
When a friend lent me this book it went straight to the top of my pile. It had a real chick lit look about it, just the kind of book to read on a rainy weekend at the caravan!
I did indeed read the 420 pages in one weekend. Its a really easy read. Fast paced, smart and funny. Its nothing we havnt read before but its well written if youre a chick lit fan. I can certainly relate to the main character, Sarah Sargeant. Id certainly recommend it as a holiday read.
50 ways to find a lover is written by Lucy-Anne Holmes, she is an actress living in London. Apparently the character, Sarah Sargeant is based on Lucy_anne. They are both actresses , have a blog, and went on quests to find a man. Lucy Anne says that she used some of her dating experiences in writing the book. Very brave!
SARAH Sergeant is a bubbly, attractive in/out of work actress and is well loved by her family, friends and even the customers in the cafe where she is a waitress inbetween her acting career!
Her problem, in her eyes, is being single and she spends an indecent amount of time in her pyjamas crying (very Bridgette Jones).
As she fast approaches 30, her friends and family decide to help her in her love life and in the days that follow after being rejected by a 'fat baldy man' she embarks on her mission. 50 Ways To Find A Lover , and shes going to do it very publically, on her very own blog!
We join her with her Mr Wrongs, Mr Rights and the Mr Ive Been Under Your Nose All Along! She has us laughing, cringing and crying.
I dont want to give too much story away but if like me you can decide if you want to read a book by the opening lines then how about this ...
''Im single, a spinster. Alone, unloved. Unwanted. Rejected. Solo. Mono.
I feel like an old Fiesta, locked up in a garage, rusting. .......
...I am also an out of work actress with a hangover ..''
First published in 2009 by Pan books, it can be bought at Waterstones for £5.59 or perhaps a little cheaper if you take a look in your local supermarket.
Every week when I do my big shop in Sainsburys, I can't resist a detour down the book aisle and it takes a great deal of willpower not to throw a few books in my trolley each week! I am often lured in by a particularly nice cover, and Lucy Ann Holmes' debut novel jumped out at me from the shelf due to its totally "chick-lit" look. After reading the blurb, I knew it was mine whether I liked it or not and so it ended up in my trolley and into my shopping bag in my car. I quickly set to reading it as soon as I got home, and it didn't take me too long to finish!
Sarah Sargeant has been single for a while, and its beginning to worry everyone, even her mum and dad. So Sarah decides to embarke on a challenge to find 50 Ways to Find A Lover. With the help of her best friend Julia and flatmate Simon, she goes speed dating, blind dating and various other disastrous ways to find a man, all with no luck. Sarah feels she is destined to spend her life alone, but is that about to change with the arrival of suave Paul? But as well as finding herself a man, Sarah's obssesed with updating her blog about her dating escapades, but is her online life becoming more important than her day-to-day one?
As usual, I was totally oblivious that it was based on the author's real life blog about her attempts to find a man, albeit a fictional account of this blog. The names of the other characters stay the same (Julia, Simon and Paul) although some roles are switched around, and of course the main character name is different as well. I haven't actually bothered to go and read the blog after reading the book because I loved the book so much, I didn't want it spoiling my image of that by changing my perceptions of it. I imagine those that have loved the blog with love the book, but its good to know you can still enjoy it even if you don't know the origins of the story!
I found that the characters were all really likeable and believable, and consequently I enjoyed the book that little bit more. It started off with Sarah's narration in the first person, and carries on that way throughout the book, aside from the odd parts taken from Sarah's fictional blog which always made me chuckle as I read along. Sarah's narration is easy to like and read, and seems like you are hearing a friend speak which always bodes well for an enjoyable book. The other characters in the book were also great too. My favourite with a doubt was the flatmate Simon - hilarious and I laughed out loud so much at him, my other half did give me some strange looks! Julia was funny also, but not my sort of person, and Paul wasn't someone I liked but again was good for the story.
It does sound like a bit of a mad storyline - a woman trying out 50 different ways of finding her one love, but the book does try well to make it believable and exploring a few different ways too. I was expecting all 50 to be covered, so was a tad disappointed when they weren't - nowhere near in fact but it didn't really spoil it too much that that didn't materialise. The book did take a few twists and turns along the way, but whatever happened seemed to do so in the context of the book and didn't seem out of place. It was almost like a diary of a real person, and definitely had hints of being based on the author's real life and there were times I could tell it really was based on someone's real blog.
If you love chick-lit, then you will definitely love this book. It's a fun, light-hearted look at the world of dating in the modern age, and an insight into blogging as well for those of us not in the know! With great characters, a lot of laugh out loud humour, it has all the things that make a great read and I was so disappointed to turn the last page as it just seemed to whizz by far too quickly! I hope that the author will continue following the characters because they were so great I want to know more about what they get up to! A quick word of warning though - if you don't like frequent use of the f-word and c-word, this book probably isn't for you, but I tended just to ignores those bits! A fab read, perfect for the summer hols!
ISBN: 978-0330458399. Published by Pan Books in April 2009. The paperback contains 328 pages. RRP £6.99. Based on the blog at http://www.spinstersquest.com.
Thank you for reading.