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Femme Bookend: The dating detox

So dating is toxic?

For lonely London ad-copywriter Sass, it is: she's just been dumped for the sixth time straight. This time after finding her current squeeze shagging another, dressed only (him) in a judge's full-bottomed wig.


So Sass swears off men. After Arty Jonathan, Rugger Robbie, Smart Henry and the others, she's had enough. Sass and her friend Bloomie make a 10-point plan: the Dating Detox, for the next three months.

That works?

Like dreams, it goes in reverse. Instantly, Sass has men panting after her looking for her phone number.

Nice guys?

Most of them the usual bastardos. But Sass has a good line in put-downs. To a man who says he doesn't believe in global warming, she withers: "It's not the tooth fairy. 'Believing' makes no difference."

Writing that down now.

Irish chick-litterateurs had better watch out -- Gemma Burgess is about to eat your cake. Smart, plotty and funny, The Dating Detox is the work of a master. And it's her first book.

Knows her stuff?

In what they call a 'recursive metaphor', she has her heroine describe chicklit: "The girl is somehow identifiable. The guy is somehow unattainable. There is fashion . . . a dancing scene . . . a klutzy friend . . ."

Whoah! Every single film . . .

"Then somewhere along the line, there is a fear that he's messed up forever and has to prove himself to her to win her love."

But wait -- she's not dating. So how . . ?

Fear not. When she meets spicy Jake -- very tall, with broad shoulders and dark hair, teeth almost straight and very white and lips look like they get sunburnt a lot. In short, attractive as hell . . .

Mm. Get the idea.

And before you ask, yes, buy it, read it, love it.