Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“That’s the thing about moments. They have the ability to surprise you.”
I’ve been so excited to start reading this one for so long – a book written by a fellow Yorkshire lass! I should have known from that little fact alone that I was going to love this story, and thankfully, she didn’t disappoint! Set in a Yorkshire town, I felt a little more attached to this book than I had any other, and the humour was simply spot on. Just thinking back to certain parts now makes me want to burst into laughter! Very happy to present my review to you, and I’m confident you’ll love this book if you’re already a fan of a lovely lil’ rom-com!
Blind Date by Debbie Ioanna follows the story of thirty-year-old Jenny, who simply has it all: a house, a job, great friends (one that comes with benefits), and a cat that is trying to kill her. What more could she want? Oh yes, the handsome hunk she shares an office with that she can’t stop fantasizing about. After giving up hope of landing her dream man, she gives in to her betrothed bestie and agrees to go on a few blind dates. What’s the worst that could happen?
The first thing that jumped out at me when I started this book that it was very real. I could easily relate to Jenny’s character and her experiences, and I’m sure every other woman can too! Even though fictional stories can be whatever an author wants them to be, sometimes the characters can seem a little too ‘fake’ to a reader. However, Jenny’s Sundays are spent lazing around the house, unwashed and in pyjamas, which is EXACTLY how a lot of real girls live on a Sunday! The book portrays Jenny as being an extremely relatable character and I loved her straight away, especially when she recounts her complete and utter failure of a date with Gerard which almost made me cry with laughter. I loved the humour so much, and after reading so many reviews of this book with people saying the same thing, I totally get it now!
Despite so many disastrous dates, there’s one person Jenny has had her eye on for a while – Zack. She thinks there’s absolutely no chance of ever getting with this guy, but her best friend, Sarah, thinks otherwise. Again, very relatable – we’ve all been in that position where you really like someone but are certain they won’t find you remotely attractive! (Thankfully, this situation worked in my favour in my personal life, because I bought a house with the guy last year!) Jenny is so likeable and I had so many hopes for her. Would she ever have a normal date? Would Zack ever see her in that way? I had my fingers crossed that she’d find the one before Sarah’s wedding, even if she had to use one of those dreaded dating apps!
When Jenny is introduced to the next man, she has a good feeling – finally, after so long, someone was interested that wasn’t a total moron! This one definitely had potential. They enjoy good conversation, good wine, slightly less than average sized food portions and yep, you guessed it, absolutely AWFUL sex. It was hilarious reading what was going on in Jenny’s head as James ‘did the deed’, and I felt sorry for her once again that her date went so terribly wrong. Ah well, there’s always the next, right? If this date wasn’t bad enough, Jenny then has to take care of her highly strung cat, which definitely wants to kill her at some point in its life. It seemed to be one thing after another, and she can’t seem to catch a break.
“I can’t remember a time when I felt less inspired, by both a menu and another human being.”
After using a dating app and meeting Phil, Jenny agrees to a video call seeing as they aren’t able to meet in person. Of course, she gets a lot more than she bargained for! (You’ll see what I mean when you read it…) I feel like there is a lot more focus on Jenny’s experiences in this book rather than a deep, developing story line, but the entertainment factor is so good that I didn’t have an issue with it! The story we do follow about Jenny is easy to understand, making this book well suited to a wide range of readers. What I was hoping for, however, was probably what everyone else reading this will want – one special someone to come along and sweep Jenny off her feet. But would it be that easy?
Getting into a heated argument about Harry Potter and trying to justify the price of a Costa Coffee sums up Jenny’s next date, which was set up by her own mother – something she wouldn’t agree to ever again. It wasn’t long before I was giggling and cringing at her misfortune once more, even though I felt so so sorry for her. If I was Jenny, I’d have pretty much given up at this point and settled for being a crazy cat lady for the rest of my days, but I have to say that I admire her determination! It’s clear that the author has such a fun imagination and she really isn’t afraid to hold back on her description of each failed, disaster of a date. Surely this guy was the worst one yet?!
Jenny meets an old friend at her work’s awards ceremony, where a simple ‘catch-up’ arrangement turns into the date she really did not want to have. (Of course!) Men did not seem to understand the difference between being friends and having a romantic relationship sometimes! It was gutting hearing how every time there’s the possibility of having some time alone with her crush, Zack, someone or something gets in the way. Was this really not meant to be? We’ve all been in that position, where we wish we could find out something in the future in order to see whether it is worth our time pursuing. With blind dates becoming an absolute novelty, would Jenny be able to keep this up for much longer?
Jenny begins to get worried about her poor cat, who hasn’t been home for a long while. After just getting a puppy myself, I know how terrifying it must be to feel like you’ve lost a pet! The author has really paid attention to the little details in all aspects of the story – we feel emotional as Jenny can’t seem to find the right man, and now her cat, the one thing she had as company when she didn’t have any plans, was missing. I also liked the other smaller details in the book too, which allowed you to build up a better picture in your mind. (I especially liked the Good Charlotte reference, I am a huuuge fan! 😍) I think the book speaks to a lot of readers, and I really appreciated this! It has so much British humour which left me with a smile all the way though, and I was confident that this would continue until the end.
“Just like the rain pulled the worms out of the soil and on to the pavements, the sun pulled out all the chavs.”
With a long awaited night on the town coming up with her best friend Sarah, Jenny is beyond excited. She needed this time to let her hair down more than anything! Surely nothing could go wrong when just the two of them were out on a good old fashioned girly night. However, it’s not long before Sarah drops the bombshell – she’s moving to Canada for good. Hen do plans are scrapped and Jenny is back to feeling deflated. That was until the wine was flowing! It wasn’t long before yet another acquaintance shows his face, as well as an interest in Jenny. Now what? The humour and embarrassment continues consistently throughout, and each page is a delight to read. I was curious to see whether the ending of the book would be one big disaster for Jenny, or whether she’d finally get a bit of good news.
Jenny’s friend with benefits, Dan, is showing signs of wanting more from her than just a bit of fun, just when the impossible happened – Zack asks her out! Was it as friends? Did he actually see the two of them starting a relationship? Either way, Jenny is completely and utterly over the moon, as was I! Even though this is great news for her, she now has the added pressure of letting Dan down gently. After all, nothing good comes easy! The author has timed these two events perfectly and built up suspense for the end of the book. Could her date with Zack potentially be as bad as all the rest? The thought of it made me nervous!
Well…something had to go wrong, didn’t it?! However, this time, Jenny wasn’t fighting to get away from the date, but there was actually a genuine reason; her cat had been found! Oh my word, what a relief this was for me (and Jenny of course), and even Zack seemed incredibly understanding and supportive, something which Jenny was really thankful for. He seems like the right guy for her, and his actions don’t make her want to run a mile. Would this be something she could keep going? Or would it take a lot more work than she would have liked? I had my fingers crossed for a happily ever after!
When their date is rearranged, Jenny has to get off early once again. As frustrating as this was for both of them, her best friend needs her more than ever. Being the great friend she is, Jenny is there for her at her lowest, which was so heartwarming to read. We really see the great relationship these girls have, and it’s always good to have someone you can rely on so much. Throughout the book, they’ve built each other up, made each other stronger and really cheered each other up, no matter the time or place. However, now was the time Jenny had been waiting for – her date with Zack. No interruptions, no embarrassment. Just him and her.
“The tingles were out of control. They were sizzling. I could almost hear them. Hang on… that was the chicken. Dammit.”
The ending chapter was lovely and just what I was hoping for! Well, almost… Jenny and Zack get the date they’ve wanted for so long, but will she be forced to have another dreaded Chinese takeaway?! Even though Jenny seems to get what she wants in the end, I couldn’t help but think about Sarah and the loss she’s just suffered. I hope the next book will give us a bit of good news for Sarah too! I thought the story was rounded off nicely, and even though it would have been a lovely standalone book, it will be interesting to see how the sequel pans out for all the characters.
What a lovely little book this is! I think if I’d have read this in one sitting, my face would be hurting from smiling so much – the humour was right up my street and was consistent all the way through. We hear about Jenny’s numerous blind dates in the book which were truly awful, but made wonderful entertainment for us readers. She has some of the worst luck in the world! The book is so relatable to us on many levels, and the author has really focused on Jenny’s character, making her so lovable. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series already!
Thanks so much to Debbie Ioanna for providing me with a copy of her book to read and review! You can purchase your own copy of Blind Date on Amazon UK and US, available on Kindle and paperback. Make sure you follow Debbie over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more updates.