Publication date: February 2nd 2012.
My rating: 4 stars
Hope Delafield hasn't always had an easy life. She has red hair and a temper to match, as her mother is constantly reminding her. She can't wear heels, is terrified of heights and being a primary school teacher isn't exactly the job she dreamed of doing, especially when her class are stuck on the two times table. At least Hope has Jack, and Jack is the God of boyfriends. He's sweet, kind, funny, has a killer smile, a cool job on a fashion magazine and he's pretty (but in a manly way). Hope knew that Jack was The One ever since their first kiss after the Youth Club Disco and thirteen years later, they're still totally in love. Totally. They're even officially pre-engaged. And then Hope catches Jack kissing her best friend Susie... Does true love forgive and forget? Or does it get mad... and get even?
Manning has always been my go to author for adult books, all her adult books I’ve read so far have been great in reminding me why I loved reading in the first place. In Nine Uses for an Ex-Boyfriend our MC Hope catches her boyfriend of nearly 13 years Jack making out with her best friend Susie. And it’s not even an innocent peck on the cheek, but it looks like they’ve been familiar with one another for quite some time. I admired Hope as she wasn’t those type of girls who would just shy away and would wait for her boyfriend to bring up the possible situation of a break up, but actually confronted her boyfriend. I felt for Hope as there isn’t really a best place that you can confront your boyfriend of nearly 13 years, but for Hope it had to be when she had planned a dinner party for her nearest and dearest friends which included Susie. Hope had been slaving away for this dinner party for a while now, making certain meals every day, so that she could be certain that they could be perfect for the big day, but as she goes to get her dish out of the oven, she catches Jack messing around with Susie.
I liked Hope when she confronted Jack in front of everyone, Hope was hurt and it was clear that Susie and Jack weren’t just having a peck on the cheek. But from Hope standing up for herself and storming out on her guests, I thought that Hope would make the right decision when she came back. But no Hope was quick to trust Jack’s side of things when it was clear to her friends, Susie and Susie’s boyfriend that she was being played for a mug. I wished we had the Hope at the beginning for the middle of the book, Hope was clearly hurting, but still decided to continue to be with Jack, there were a lot of clues that he was up to no good, but she decided not to listen. But despite Hope dallying about there was still a lot of fun along the way, Hope and Jack’s parents were absolutely hilarious, their mothers were such busybodies especially Hope’s mum (she knew that Jack and Hope were meant to be and wouldn’t take no for an answer). I also loved Hope’s escapades with her blue class at school, her sharing her day to day activities with them was always a delight to watch. Two characters who I thoroughly enjoyed were Jeremy, Hope’s brother and Wilson, Susie’s boyfriend. Jeremy was described as your typical teenager who gets lost around town and wears his trouser far too low. As Jeremy was the youngest he didn’t really have a relationship with Hope, as she had moved out by then. But I loved how the week he came up changed a lot of things between them. Wilson I hated immediately, he seemed like some uptight guy who thought everyone was beneath him, but he actually ended up being the one person that helped Hope the most throughout her ordeal.
Manning once again has her romance nailed in this book, although it comes from the least expected of places, she creates a relationship which is truly believable and swoony scenes which will have you blushing furiously on the bus (at one point, I had to keep my copy on my laps, so I knew that no one would be reading it over my shoulder). Overall I would recommend giving Nine Uses for an Ex Boyfriend a go, the MC does dally about a bit in the book, but there are many laugh out loud moments and fun characters, that you can overlook this small aspect and end up really enjoying this book.