The Ex Factor by Eva Woods


Published by Harper Collins, 8 Sept 2016, 368 pages,  £7.99

4 stars

I started reading this during the final two days of my trip in Berlin. And I didn’t stop. I was glued to my kindle and didn’t really take any notice of what was going on around me. The usual sweat-faced and back-aching, return journey was a dream… 

Eva Woods’ (aka crime author Claire McGowan) writing is swift, twisty and enticing. Its a hilarious account of four thirty-somethings’ dating life in London. It got me grinning like a loon on holiday, and even more so when my brother thought I was reading ‘A History of The X-factor’ (song contest). Its very suited to Sex and the Citians or those who are general fans of light romance/ chick-lit. And of course its perfect for travel and holiday reading.

Four single friends, who have ties going back to school and Uni, get together and embark on a dating experiment to date each other’s exes. This girl group is the stereotypical Rom-Com assortment: wild-child Marnie who came up with the idea, comfortably single Helen who prefers nights in with her cat, smart and cynical lawyer Ani, and newly divorced and vulnerable Rosa.

It starts off as a ‘why not just grit your teeth and do it because nothing has actually been working and it could be fun’. But of course it spirals into chaos. 

I was a little cautious, because I have found in the past that chick-lit can get a bit too light for me. Little drama and mediocre characters become dull rather than soothing. But no, this book kept bringing in change, making the pace feel very snappy. It had constant switching between four very different POVs, new characters filing in, and changes in the plot. There are also lots of unresolved issues and mystery that keeps tension pulsing. What I liked most was how it dealt with jealousy and insecurity between friends. You know who I’m talking about- the friend who has got it all figured out, or the one who always looks effortlessly fantastic and is so fun and interesting.

So if you want a good laugh and time off with other people’s drama then here is the ticket.

I really don’t want to turn thirty…

Many thanks to Cara from HQ Stories for my review copy xxx


About the Author

Eva Woods lives in London, where she writes and teaches creative writing. She likes wine, pop music, and holidays, and thinks online dating is like the worst board game ever invented.



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