The premise of this books sounds like it was going to be a laugh to read – ‘would following the advice of dating guides actually work? Or would I be left looking like a lunatic? Most importantly, would it result in me having frequent sex with people who were not known psychopaths?’ Meet Lauren, recently having left behind America and all that was said and done there. She moves in with Lucy, starts a new job and seems to have a failing love life. In all honestly, I wasn’t a fan of Lauren until about the halfway mark, where she hurriedly took a trip home to see her sister who was in the middle of a breakdown. It was while Lauren was here that she became real for me, I started to sympathize with her, which definitely comes down to the fact that we get more of a backstory and find out what happened with the mysterious Dylan, who’s mere name brings Lauren pretty close to breaking down in tears. Lauren grows a lot during this trip back to her hometown, that when she returns to London I cant help but feel a flurry of anticipation at what she’s going to do next.

The book covers 8 dating guides all varying in authors and time periods, we even get to see Lauren take a slight Victorian and 50’s approach, both of which are not entirely successful. We follow Lauren over the months as she tries to use each guide to find some guys that are just looking for some fun. The layout of the book makes it very easy to follow however I didn’t care much for the conclusions at the end of the chapters, for me they were unnecessary and didn’t really add anything for me, I did however love the little character descriptions of the successful candidates such as Bike Guy and Sleepy Eyes. Along with the guides Lauren joins two dating websites and Tinder and it was amusing to watch Lauren wean out the weirdos from the suitably okay guys, sadly most of who she thinks are valid candidates for her ‘scientific experiment’ end up mainly giving her, and me, the creeps.

The only downfall I could find with this book is that, for me, I feel the ending is a bit rushed. I would have liked maybe journal entries for the rest of December so that the ending could perhaps flourish a little bit alongside finding out what happens with Lucy, which is something I did hope the ending would show us but I feel we were left hanging slightly. But by the end of it, I did definitely feel as though Lauren and Lucy were my girl friends. You’ll probably find, like me, that the friendship of Lauren and Lucy is not dissimilar to the one you have with your best friend, filled with drinking, smoking, partying and early morning catch ups and gossips over coffee and M&Ms.

However, all in all, I enjoyed this book despite on initial reading not thinking it was going to be my cup of tea. Having been the first real Contemporary Chick-Lit novel I’ve read, I will probably now delve out of my comfort zone of YA and poodle around the Contemporary Chick-Lit selection a bit more. If you’re looking for a witty, funny, real-talk kind of book, this might just be the one for you. Filled with drama, lots of nice looking arms, even more alcohol and cigarettes, dating advice from someone in the Victorian period, short bouts of having to wear a chastity belt and maybe just a sprinkle of love, it’s the sort of book you can curl up in bed with a cup of tea to read.

What I learnt from this book? Dating guides are usually complete shite and deserve no place on your shelves, and that no matter how nice someone’s arms are or how nice of an ass they have, if they live in someone’s attic or likes to pickle shark you should probably run for the hills. I’ll raise my glass to that and to Lauren, thanks Lauren for putting yourself on the line for the sake of womanhood and science.

Published on the 29th of January and found on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Age-Sex-Location-Melissa-Pimentel/dp/1405918276

*Disclaimer: Despite being sent a review copy all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*

Taylor-Louise Rowley