Girl 99 Review
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After the end of a relationship, people often find themselves looking back and reflecting on what went wrong. But in Girl 99 by author Andy Jones, a young single guy looks way back to all of his relationships—and sets an ill-advised goal for his relationship future.

The story follows newly-single Tom on an outrageous quest. After a series of stupid mistakes causes his girlfriend, Sadie, to leave him right before Christmas, Tom takes a look back on his history with women—all 85 of them. Emboldened by a bet with a close friend, Tom sets out on a quest to make the number an even 100, hooking up with colleagues and friends of friends and a real estate agent, too. But when he meets wildly individual Verity, he begins to question his whole stupid plan.

Tom’s behavior here is often absolutely maddening—from his attitude toward Sadie to the way he sets out to treat women as nothing more than numbers in his notebook. And, admittedly, it isn’t always easy to like him. Still, there’s something about him that will keep you from giving up on him entirely. Perhaps it’s the small revelations that he has along the way—those moments of clarity that will make you realize that he isn’t completely heartless. Or perhaps it’s the fact that he seems more than just a little bit lost. He’s completely messed up a relationship that he seemingly stumbled into, only to find himself unsure of what to do next. And while he obviously makes a terrible choice, he almost seems to do so half-heartedly, simply for lack of something better to do. That gives the story just a hint of hope—that feeling that, at some point, he may wake up and realize how stupid he’s been. And Jones writes it all with a different perspective and a witty sense of humor that will keep you laughing even through Tom’s most idiotic moments.

There are other lovable characters here, too—like Tom’s widowed neighbor, Douglas, who’s working through his own relationship issues with a new lady friend. And Verity is such a fun character—free-spirited and creative with a style all her own—that you’ll hope that Tom will get his act together before he ruins his chances with her, too.

At some point while reading Girl 99 (and most likely at several points), you’ll want to slap the main character. But this deeply flawed character and his fresh perspective make for an entertaining read.

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