I received an ARC from Bookouture and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Seriously, why do guys on dating apps think I want a picture of what’s in their pants? I could open an art gallery with the collection I’ve got.
Zoe really doesn’t want to die alone and surrounded by cats. But it’s not looking good: she’s had sex precisely twice in the last year, and her feline friend isn’t the kind of male company she wants in bed…
Her top dating disasters include:
1) The guy who kissed her hand, took out a violin and serenaded her in public.
2) The guy who force-fed her oysters (she can confirm that they’re not an aphrodisiac).
3) The guy who was so hungover he turned up with his t-shirt on inside out, sweating sambuca.
4) The guy who brought his actual kid on a dinner date.
And don’t even get her started on the dick pics, or how on earth you’re supposed to know whether a total stranger is an axe murderer or not.
Zoe’s ready to give up on the search for love, until her friend has an idea. Robbie lives by his horoscope, and he’s sure she’s got this dating stuff all wrong. He dares her to work her way through the zodiac until she finds The One.
Usually Zoe would laugh at such a suggestion, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Could love be written in the stars? Or is she destined to end up alone, eating take-out in bed and watching endless re-runs of Friends?
Ranald’s latest book, Thank You, Next takes this character that her readers will be familiar with and plonks her at centre stage.
Zoe has been out of the dating game for a while – since her relationship with Joe (and any chance of rekindling feelings) fizzled out – but a dare from her work friend, Robbie, brings her right back to the world of dodgy dates, dick pics and debating whether she should just stay single with her cat, Frazzle (less hassle, I reckon). Except, there’s a twist, she’s relying on astrology to get to her perfect man.
Though the idea had me rolling my eyes, trusting the zodiac to find love actually led to some toe-curlingly awkward, funny and heartfelt moments. I laughed a lot of the book, felt sadness at some parts and definitely recognised the good (and not so good) parts of dating apps and dating in general.
Zoe was fun, hardworking and determined: to work hard, train hard at the gym and to find someone. I liked that she actually had dimensions and a personality to her, I couldn’t stand the thought of reading about a damsel in distress that needed a man to get by. Zoe was like a lot of us – myself included – ok with her cat and her own company (as well as that of her co-workers, and her best friend Dani) though it would be nice to settle down.
I liked how she was head-strong, fun and she wouldn’t settle for anything less – I think more writers need to follow Ranald’s lead, for sure!
The one thing I wasn’t so keen on was some of the romance. I was happy with the final – if somewhat predictable- love interest but the “relationship” that took up some of the book just didn’t do anything for me. He didn’t add much at all to the story – apart from reminding Zoe (and the reader) that she can do much better – and I felt my interest wane a little bit at that point (though it did pick back up after that!).
All in all, Thank You, Next is a story of star-signs, finding self worth and searching for The One – the perfect remedy to the stressful times we’re loving in.
Thank You, Next will be published on 30 November 2020.
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