17 February 2011

Book Review: The Accidental Proposal by Matt Dunn

Ed Middleton is back, and he's an engaged man. Well, sort of. Actually, he isn't sure whether girlfriend Sam actually meant to propose to him or not, and his best friend Dan has decided he's got to find out once and for all. Once Ed has determined the fact that Sam does indeed want to marry him, he has the problem of organising a wedding that is going to suit the both of them. Then there's the added problem of what exactly went on on Ed's stag night - neither Dan or Ed can remember a thing, yet signs are that something untoward went on. What on earth has Ed been up to this time, and is he actually going to make it up the aisle with Sam in the end?

Matt Dunn has quickly become of my favourite chick-lit authors, and always offers something brilliant and funny for a male perspective, a fresh view in chick lit I have to say! Matt has written about the characters of Ed and Dan twice before, in The Ex-Boyfriend's Handbook and Ex-Girlfriend's United, both of which were hilarious and so I was thrilled to learn he was bringing them back for a (probably final!) outing. The cover has broken away from the other two which is somewhat of a shame to those who like their matching covers but I quite like the fun and carefree look of the new one, it certainly stands out with its bright blue and knitted imagery. I was just hoping that this third outing for Ed and Dan wouldn't be disappointed, and of course I was right!

Ed has been happy with girlfriend Sam for a long time, and finally feels its time to take the next step. However, he is a bit confused when he thinks he has got engaged to Sam, but isn't entirely sure whether she meant to ask him to marry her or not. However, thanks to the "brilliant" advice of his best friend Dan, he decides not to just come out with it and ask Sam if she wants to marry him, he has to go about in a completely awkward and ridiculous way which of course is absolutely hilarious to read. You have to wonder why exactly Ed listens to a word Dan says, what with his awful track history with women of course, but the consequences are just brilliant.

I think these two characters work perfectly together because they are both such opposites and Dunn's comic dialogue between the pair flows so easily it is a pleasure to read. Ed is a genuinely nice bloke, a good boyfriend but he makes some silly decisions based on the advice of sage Dan. Of course, these are always done with good intentions but rarely end up that way. The scenes at the hotel and nightclub are brilliant, so funny and I really did find myself laughing out loud at the capers the boys manage to get themselves into. As I said, Dunn's writing is very easy to read and the comedy is just perfect - not over the top but enough to make you really laugh like I did. Ed and Dan do make a perfect partnership though, and if Dunn chooses not to bring these characters back for another outing, I for one will definitely miss them!

Again, the book is set in Brighton and you really get a feel for the place as you read along. The book is written in the first person from Ed's perspective, so you can really get into the mindset of him, and indeed the comedy from his point of view. It's almost funnier because you can see Ed's hesitation in  most things, and while we all know he shouldn't go along with everything that happens, it's funnier when he does because of the consequences! Yes, the scenarios are probably a bit unbelievable, but I for one enjoy a book that is a bit escapist and funny, and of course when there is comedy involved, there's always an element of exaggeration which has to be there for the story to work.

I find Dunn's books are always very funny and enjoyable, and The Accidental Proposal certainly lives up to my expectations. It is great being reunited with the characters of Ed and Dan again, but I think this is a book you can enjoy whether you've read the previous 2 books in the series or not. I loved every page, and even though I wasn't sure how it was all going to end up for poor Ed, I found myself rooting for him as usual, but also rooting for Dan as well, he's got a heart of gold bless him! As I said, if this is the last outing for these characters, it's a good one and would be a nice ending, but I like to think there is room to catch up with Ed and Dan again one day. It's very well written, funny, enjoyable and will have you laughing out loud - what more can you ask for?!

Rating: 4/5


  1. I can't wait to read this one and am totally jealous that you got to read it already, LOL. LOVED the Ex-Boyfriend's Handbook and now I must read Ex-Girlfriend's United!

  2. I have read all of Matt Dunn's books and I think he was of the most fantastic authors out there! I always think its far too long between books thou! But really enjoy his books, my favourite has to be "From Here to Paternity" Thank you Chole for a great review! :)

  3. i personally don't like this book, it's too draggy and i could have see what is coming. :(

    any other better recommendation from this author?