Review of I Followed The Rules by Joanna Bolouri

Published: 2nd July 2015
Publisher: Quercus
Pages: 352


Have you heard of The Rules of Engagement? It’s a book that promises to teach you to find the man of your dreams in ten easy steps. Unsurprisingly, I don’t own a copy. What is it, 1892? But I’m a journalist, and I’ve promised to follow it to the letter and write about the results. Never mind that my friends think I’m insane, I’m stalking men all over town and can’t keep my mouth shut at the best of times. My name is Cat Buchanan. I’m thirty-six years old and live with my daughter in Glasgow. I’ve been single for six years, but that’s about to change. After all, I’m on a deadline. I Followed The Rules and this is what happened.


Thank you to Quercus for kindly sending me a review copy. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I absolutely adore Joanna and her no filter mouth – no, really. When her debut novel The List entered my life, I laughed for days on end and it is by far, one of my favourite books of all time. She’s a very talented lady who works her backside off and I’m really lucky to call her my friend. Right, enough of the emosh talk – let’s review..

“God, I’m a nightmare. Form an orderly queue, boys.”

Cat is trying to find her Mr Right. In between being a journalist and a single full time Mum, she’s having to rely on her sister Helen and her husband to set up some blind dates. Cue; Shakespeare obsessed sweaty Colin. I won’t lie – I couldn’t stop laughing from the very first page from all the little outburst rages to Cat’s no filter mouth. There’s a slight problem to her love life: she doesn’t seem to be able to forget the fact that Peter (father to her child Grace) is getting married and the plot completely screams I STILL LOVE HIM BUT WON’T ADMIT IT. Yup, we’ve all been there. Hello relatable main character, how I love thee.

“Never at any point does he say, ‘hey, be yourself!’ because apparently being yourself is the reason you’re still single – a comforting thought.”

I Followed The Rules is Cat’s new weekly column based upon a book on how to get a man to truly take notice of him by basically letting him do the chasing. I found Cat’s approach to this to be utterly hysterical – tears of laughter at 1 am before an early start at work the next day.. That’s what happens when you read a Joanna Bolouri book, so cancel your life. It turns out; the rules do in fact work for Cat but how long for exactly?

“This book is turning me into the type of person I used to make fun of.”

There are two hot male characters in the plot to keep your eye on: Tom, the sweet man who insists on paying, forever talking about his ex-wife but his face makes up for it. Then there’s Dylan, the man with the secret who twists the story completely and well, he’s just a dream of a man if I’m honest. I had a strong incline as to what would happen but with the hilarious one liners coming from Cat’s mouth every few sentences, I just couldn’t stop falling in love with the comical plot.

“It’s the kind of kiss that means something.”

I absolutely devoured the book within two days and when I reached the end, I was a little bit disappointed.. That it was the end. Cat was a strong, powerful, independent woman who is a prime example that being a single parent is absolutely okay. She was hilarious and reminded me so much of Joanna which I truly loved. I laughed at all the quirky jokes and random outbursts; I mean, who wouldn’t? Joanna’s style of writing is so unique, fresh and very, very, very funny. She draws you into Cat’s world so easily and it’s as if she’s sat right in front of me dropping the F bomb every two seconds. Did I like it more than The List? I probably loved it just as much (you can stop being nervous now Joanna!) AND I’m actually in this book. Yup, hello wicked Step Mother.

* Do mind the naughty C word on page 76 if you’re a big fan like I am..
** That’s sarcasm by the way.

Twitter: @scribbles78