Review: The Dating Detox

The Dating DetoxGemma Burgess, The Dating Detox

Sass (real name Sarah) is a 20-something copywriter in a London advertising agency who has just been dumped for the sixth time in a row. What’s wrong with her? Why can’t she make a relationship last? And why is she always the one getting dumped, even when she doesn’t like the guy all that much either? After several drinks and talks with her best friends, Bloomie and Kate, Sass decides she’s had enough of heartbreak and rejection: she’s going on a dating sabbatical. For three months, she won’t flirt, date, or sleep with any men. Almost immediately, Sass begins to notice improvements in her life. She’s more confident at work, she’s more productive in her free time, and she’s not distracted by men all the time. But when she meets Jake, a handsome and charming man who shares her offbeat sense of humor, she must decide whether to risk everything she’s achieved through her dating sabbatical and take a chance on a new relationship.

What a fun book! Yes, it’s chick lit and thus inherently predictable, but Sass’ original voice makes it a lot more interesting than the usual fare in this genre. Sass narrates the book in present tense, which is usually something I hate, but in this case it really emphasizes Sass’ upbeat, live-in-the-moment character. However, this is a book in which you really have to like the heroine, so if detailed descriptions of outfits (yes, she loves clothes) and the bar scene in London put you off, then you may not enjoy the book as much as I did. I also really liked the fact that the other characters in this book are fleshed-out individuals with their own problems and concerns. Bloomie and Kate, for example, both grow and change throughout the course of the novel as they navigate problems at work and in their relationships. Many chick-lit books can feel like a one-woman show, but that was definitely not the case here! Overall, I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys British chick lit, and I look forward to reading more by Burgess.

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