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CTM = Crime, Thriller, Mystery Genre Authors

ROF = Romance and Other Fiction Authors

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Category: ROF - Mike Gayle

  1. Kat's Review of Turning Forty by Mike Gayle

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    Mike Gayle Turning FourtyMy Rating 3/5

    Synopsis: How to turn forty:

    1. Set yourself a personal challenge.

    2. Clear wardrobe of all age-inappropriate clothing.

    3. Relax.

    How not to turn forty:

    1. Have a complete meltdown . . .

    High-flier Matt Beckford's sole ambition is to turn forty with his life sorted. And with a Porsche on the drive and a job that requires him to spend more time in BA's club lounge than his own lounge, it looks like things are going in the right direction. But when Matt's wife unexpectedly calls time on their marriage, a chain of events is set in motion that very quickly sees him facing forty broke, homeless and completely alone.

    But all is not lost because Matt has a plan . . .

    My Review- The last book I read by MG I absolutely loved (The Stag and Hen Weekend) so I as looking forward to another book by him. Having said that, the first book of his I read (his debut novel) I wasn’t keen on; so I wasn’t sure what to expect. This book is actually a sequel to the book MG released back in 200 entitles Turning Thirty. I haven’t read that book, but from reading this current one it made no odds as I still ‘got’ the book.

    Matt Beckford is an easy character to read, but I can’t honestly say I warmed to him all that much from start to finish. The early part of the book makes no bones in launching the reader straight into Matt’s current situation of he and his wife Lauren separating. It is from that point that we see Matt struggle and fail to get himself together. When he finally bites the bullet and moves back to his parent’s house, it seems the story picks up a little bit. I quite liked the writing style and it was an easy book to read, however if I’m being 100% honest it just didn’t interest me enough.

    Having read two of his books and with both of them being on opposite ends of enjoyment, I just felt this was passable. It was okay, but certainly not memorable enough, knowing what MG is capable of. I wonder whether there was pressure for Gayle to create a sequel, and maybe if I would have read the first book maybe I would have felt differently? Who knows, but overall, although I enjoyed it; it just wasn’t anything I would write home about. I will still continue to read MG books and hope the next one is just as good as his last book!

  2. Kat's Review of The Stag and Hen Weekend by Mike Gayle

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    Mike Gayle The Stag and Hen WeekendMy Rating: 5/5

    My first Mike Gayle book was his debut novel My Legendary Girlfriend that he first published back in 1998. I only read his book around a month or so ago and was very unimpressed. It certainly wasn't the writing; it was clear that he had the talent needed, but the main character in that book irritated me beyond belief. It seemed that the more I read the more I disliked him. I think for that reason Mike Gayle just didn't stick in my mind as much as he should have.

    With his newest books hitting the shelves last week, and there being a difference of nearly 14 years between books; I figured this would be a good way of seeing if I liked his books. When I got the book I didn't realise the concept. When you pick the book up it has a lovely pink cover and you open the book and start reading all about Helen and her Hen Weekend. However, it took me a little while to realise that you flip the book over, and a nice blue cover appears and you can read the Stag weekend part of the book. As the reader, it's up to you where you start. This alone I thought was so original and an absolutely brilliant idea.

    I decided to start with the ladies and found myself completely immersed within the space of two chapters. Helen and all her friends were easy to like and their Hen Weekend to the Peak District was far from quiet. When it appears that Helen's ex Aiden Reid is also staying at the hotel it doesn't take long for things to get complicated.

    The ladies Hen Weekend I read in half a day but by which point it was way past my bedtime and I figured I would start the boy's Stag weekend the next day. I devoured the second half of the book in half a day too and thoroughly loved every bit of it. Phil and the boys hop off to Amsterdam and we see them get up to your typical Stag weekend antics which had me chuckling. What I loved the most is that you know the reasoning behind both Phil and Helen's thoughts and it makes for a truly brilliant read.

    One of the best things about the book was the fact that it was a little open ended. There wasn't a nice neat little ending that had a bow wrapped around it; the reader gets to decide what happens when they both get home. I can honestly say with my hand on my heart, after finishing this book I now realise why Mike Gayle has such a loyal following.

    I think his first book just didn't sit well with me because of the main character. But this one had everything and more, great characters, lots going on and was so enjoyable to read. Overall it was an absolute pleasure and I am now really looking forward to reading some more of his stuff.

  3. Kat's Review of My Legendary Girlfriend by Mike Gayle

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    Mike Gayle My Legendary GirlfriendMy Rating: 2/5

    Okay, my first foray into the world of Lad Lit came only in November 2011 with a self-published book that had me literally crying with laughter. The book was so good that I immediately started looking at other male `Lad Lit' authors and Mike Gayle was one that I had heard of and was incredibly popular.

    With that in mind I decided to try his debut novel My Legendary Girlfriend that he first published back in 1998. Very early on we are introduced to Will Kelly, the only real `character' so to speak in the book. We get the lowdown on his truly depressing life, his awful flat and his agony over his ex-girlfriend.

    Very early on I found myself disliking Will, all he seemed to do was moan about literally everything, and I had no sympathy for him whatsoever. I figured that this must be the lead up to where the character develops and the reader ends up seeing the turnaround. No such luck for me on that front.

    The most frustrating thing is that nothing much happens. I get the impression this was meant to be a mans take on the Bridget Jones style kind of diary; however this is the furthest from that example in my opinion. Seeing as I was over halfway through the book and not feeling anything towards the character, I gave the book a break for a day and hoped I would return with a better feeling.

    Sadly, when I returned and ploughed through (that's what it felt like), I finished it with an overwhelming feeling of disappointment. The writing was good, and there were certainly moments that made me chuckle, but that alone was not enough for me to actually feel like I enjoyed the book.

    Overall, I can honestly say that this book was unmemorable at best and boring at worst. The writing and moments of humour are enough for me to try another Mike Gayle, after all as this was his debut novel and he now has a solid fan base I would like to give a newer book a try and hope that maybe it was just this particular book that wasn't my cup of tea.