Review: The List by Joanna Bolouri

the list

Novel: The List by Joanna Bolouri
Published: January 6th, 2015 by Quercus
Genre: Adult contemporary
Rating: 2/5 stars

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I received this book from the publisher -THANK YOU- via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.

Synopsis: Phoebe Henderson may be single but she sure doesn’t feel fabulous. It’s been a year since she found her boyfriend Alex in bed with another woman, and multiple cases of wine and extensive relationship analysis with best friend Lucy have done nothing to help. Faced with a new year but no new love, Phoebe concocts a different kind of resolution. The List: ten things she’s always wanted to do in bed but has never had the chance (or the courage!) to try. A bucket list for between the sheets. One year of pleasure, no strings attached. Simple, right?


When I requested this, I was expecting a good adult romance story. I believe that my expectations of what this book was going to be like may be one of the reasons I didn’t really like this book. I know that many people love this book -as it has so many 5 star ratings on Goodreads- but I just couldn’t agree with them. Here’s why.

I do not think this is a romance novel. Which is fine! I’m not saying that every book should be. But this is advertised as a romance novel. Am I the only one who thought there was nothing even remotely romantic or emotional in this book? This is a book about a woman who is trying to drown her sadness in a bucket list of sex. Which brings me to my next point.

I can’t believe these people are in their thirties. I’m not saying that you can’t have fun when you’re over 30. Or that you can’t make mistakes. But I can’t believe that there is an entire group of friends in their thirties who act like they are 16. All they do or think about is sex and profanity. They hate their jobs. They don’t even know themselves well enough to recognize their own feelings. Totally incapable of having a normal conversation. I just… No. I normally have no problem with using swearwords in novels. I mean, we all use them once in a while, no? So it’s only natural. But Phoebe can’t say a single sentence without the use of one.

I have read other reviews of people who say that Phoebe is trying to discover herself and trying to find what she wants from life. I did not get that at all. For example, she hates her job. Why not do something about it? HELLO? Are you going to spend the rest of your life at a job you hate because you were too lazy to look for alternatives? And about her cheating ex-boyfriend. I can’t even deal with how she “handled” that. Because she didn’t. The only self-discovery she does is find out what and who she likes in bed. Oh, and the big reveal at the end of course.

Like I said, I didn’t really enjoy this novel. The entire time I was reading this, I was thinking: “what is this mess?”. It just wasn’t for me. But there are many people who do enjoy this book, so if you want to take a look at their reviews to figure out whether this is a book you’d like, I have left the link to the Goodreads page!



3 thoughts on “Review: The List by Joanna Bolouri

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