Narrator: Jayne Entwistle
Published by Penguin Audio on February 3rd 2015
Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction, Humorous
Length: 10 hrs. 39 mins.
A laugh-out-loud debut novel that will delight fans of Bridget Jones’s Diary and HBO’s Girls. Love by the Book charts a year in the life of Lauren Cunningham, a beautiful, intelligent, and unlucky-in-love twenty-eight-year-old American. Feeling old before her time, Lauren moves to London in search of the fab single life replete with sexy Englishmen. But why can’t she convince the men she’s seeing that she really isn’t after anything more serious than seriously good sex? Determined to break the curse, Lauren turns her love life into an experiment: each month she will follow a different dating guide until she discovers the science behind being a siren. Lauren will follow The Rules, she’ll play The Game, and along the way she’ll journal her (mis)adventures and maybe even find someone worth holding on to. Witty, gritty, and very true to life, Love by the Book will have you in stitches.
In Love by the Book– an American in London puts her stalled love life in the hands of various dating guides. Can she find the fun and flirty guy she’s looking for by going by the book?
Lauren Cunningham left her family and relationship behind in Maine to start over in London. She has a new job, and a fun new roommate/partner in crime. Now she’s ready to kick-start her love life after her London fling balks when she serves him eggs the morning after. If Lauren’s life is Bridget Jones Diary then eggs guy Adrian is her Daniel Cleaver. Will she ever find her Mark Darcy?
Lauren decides to put her fate into the hands of the dating guide experts. Each month she experiments with using the techniques described in books like The Rules, The Technique of the Love Affair, Belle de Jour’s Guide to Men, and Find a Husband After 35 to comic effect. Even when the dating rules are dated/sexist/out of character for Lauren she sticks to the plan.
This book is loosely based on the author Melissa Pimentel’s own dating experiments- which she blogged about here. (Success: She fell in love with one of her test subjects!) Here are some of the author’s dating tips:
I was entertained and fascinated by this book. With modern romance such as it is in the world of texting and dating apps t was interesting to see the protagonist use dating guides from the past and going back to basics. There are more bad dates than good and it was uncomfortable to read about at times but I couldn’t walk away. Lauren picked up her books from the local used bookstore where the surly, handsome owner shares his disdain for her reading material.
Lauren is a flawed (yet realistic) main character that some will find hard to warm up to. There is some information shared late in the book about the life Lauren left behind that took me off guard a bit, and added a more bittersweet tone to the story. The set-up sounds like a light-hearted rom-com and though there are elements of that it also comes with a hard dose of reality. I rooted for Lauren to find Mr. Right (and herself) in the end.
I listened to the audiobook, performed by Jayne Entwistle. (You may know her narration from the Flavia de Luce series) Entwistle was born and raised in England so she’s a good pick for this London-based book. The protagonist is American though, and Entwistle does a killer American accent! I read Entwistle lives in LA now and it sounds like the accent has rubbed off on her. This is an entertaining listen and I’d seek out more books narrated by Entwistle. Take a listen:
Love by the Book is amusing, awkward, and timely look at dating. I put it on my list of book recs for fans of The Mindy Project – consider tucking it into your beach bag this summer.