Book Review: I Followed the Rules by Joanna Bolouri

“Have you heard of The Rules of Engagement? It’s a book that promises to teach you to find the man of your dreams in ten easy steps. Unsurprisingly, I don’t own a copy. What is it, 1892?

But I’m a journalist, and I’ve promised to follow it to the letter and write about the results. Nevermind that my friends think I’m insane, I’m stalking men all over town and can’t keep my mouth shut at the best of times.

My name is Cat Buchanan. I’m thirty-six years old and live with my daughter in Glasgow. I’ve been single for six years, but that’s about to change. After all, I’m on a deadline.

I Followed the Rules and this is what happened.”

I’ve been waiting for Joanna Bolouri’s second book after absolutely loving her debut novel, The List. And that second book can be, you know, tricky. Would she be able to write another story that had me creasing up with laughter and horrified recognition? Would she calm down her naughtiness and sheer joy for swearing?

I am relieved to say I read I Followed the Rules and enjoyed it even more than her first novel. She did it! The girl done good.

The swearing is still there, the brilliantly witty turn of phrases used throughout makes me want to hug the book to death but I’d look silly. Best sentence I’ve read in a long time:  ‘Peter would rather stick his cock in a blender than help me with additional babysitting.’

Catriona, or Cat to her friends, is a single mother who needs not only to up her blog ratings, but to find a man. She’d rather find a man who takes her for who she is, but that doesn’t seem to be working. So she finds herself challenged by having to follow ‘The Rules of Engagement’, a book for hopeless daters written by an egotistical smarmy smart-arse. Will it work for a cynic like Cat?

The characters are great and realistic. I found myself flipping between wanting to punch Dylan in the gonads and then wanting to marry him. I was practically screaming at her to get away from perfect Tom.

I love everything about this book. Apart from the fact it had to end.

Please hurry with No. 3 Ms Bolouri!

I received this for an honest review from Quercus Books via netGalley, but to be honest I forgot I had pre-ordered it anyway 🙂


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