Publication Date: 16 January 2020
Publisher: Boldwood Books
What if your future was somewhere in your past?
Rosie Jones has been dumped by every boyfriend she’s ever had – most recently by Dinosaur Dave, live on TV, during the ‘phone-a-friend’ segment of a quiz show. After the footage goes viral, Rosie receives a bunch of flowers with a message:
I love you, I should have never let you go, I want you back x
But who sent them?
At a loose end and with £50,000 of prize money in her back pocket, Rosie decides to take a trip down memory lane, visiting each of her ex-boyfriends to see not just if they are the one how sent the flowers, but if they are the one.
Her journey takes her back to the house she grew up in and on a transatlantic cruise to New York, but can Rosie figure out which ex-boyfriend is the love of her life, or should the past stay in the past?
Synopsis from Goodreads.
My Great Ex-Scape by Portia MacIntosh is described by the publisher as a a “laugh-out loud romantic comedy.” When you read such a description, it is only natural to expect a book to be actually funny. Perhaps it is my sense of humour that is at fault, because this book has received generally positive reviews, but I did not find My Great Ex-Scape to be particularly funny at all. Sure, the first few chapters were quite comical – I think I might have even laughed out loud once or twice. However, the humour fell to the wayside, and I found myself slightly bored after a few chapters. There were a few aspects of the storyline which I found amusing, but ultimately I just found My Great Ex-Scape to be, quite frankly, dull.
I wonder if it is just me who thinks this, but I am so tired of the stereotypical gay best-friend trope in novels. If I never have to read about another homosexual male who happens to be the best friend of a heterosexual female and whose only purpose in the novel is to be the gay best friend, then it will still be too soon. I obviously do not take issue with the presence of homosexual/transgender/bi characters in novels, but I am tired of seeing these characters have the exact same personality, or lack thereof. It is something that I feel is so overdone. It is fantastic to have more representation of characters with different sexual preferences in novels, but at the same time I’m not sure it is helpful when these characters only serve to talk and act in stereotypical ways. Please, give these characters a unique personality. Don’t form all of their characteristics, mannerisms, and personality traits based on the fact that they happen to be gay. It is a real bugbear of mine.
Ultimately I feel that My Great Ex-Scape had potential, but it never really got there for me. Perhaps it is because I am trying to read books with a bit more meaning this year, or maybe even it’s because it was the first book I read this year, but I expected more. That being said, if you do happen to enjoy slightly-cheesy, silly, romantic-comedy-esque books, then perhaps My Great Ex-Scape is the book for you. It is not a bad book by any means, it just wasn’t the book for me. I think I might have even liked it if I had been sitting in the sun somewhere on holiday, but it is honestly hard to say.
Portia MacIntosh says that she has been “making stuff up” for as long as she remembers. She worked for years as a music journalist, but now pursues writing full-time. Portia MacIntosh writes romantic comedies which draw on real-life experiences to show what it is like to be a woman in today’s world.
My Great Ex-Scape has potential, and I really wanted to like it, but it ultimately fell short for me.
My rating: ★★☆☆☆
Waterstones (UK): here
Amazon (US): here