Since ChickLit, there’s been a host of books in a new genre I’m going to call ‘This is not ChickLit’. Love Rehab is one of this type. It is about relationships and there is romance, female bonding, drinking and bad decisions along with an ‘alls well that ends well’. But it tries instead to be a non-formulaic, intelligent work by camouflaging itself as a self-help book instead. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The fluffy warmth of ChickLit with the entertainment value that earlier formulas wore out comes through in a book like this.
Sophie is newly-single (fresh dumpee) and prone to all the cringeworthy symptoms of a break-up. She illustrates well why women fear breaking up so much by her textbook crazy behaviour. All goes badly until a friend in the throes of another kind of personal crisis takes her into a rehab meeting. This gives them both the idea to set up a Love Addicts Anonymous group along the lines of AA and NA. As the novel progresses, the group finds each other, its leader discovers the lessons as she teaches them, some find true love, some find closure and everyone sleeps happy.
Jo Piazza’s writing is fast paced which keeps you from noticing the self-conscious ‘intelligent humour’ and ‘with-it lingo’. There’s a heavy emphasis on social media channels which is probably to underline how contemporary this is but the book risks being dated because of it. I mean Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest are an integral part of the lives of how many people who like to read relationship books?
Still, I liked it. I might even read it again some time later. But I probably won’t want to read many more of the same kind.