The Plot (from Goodreads):
Haley McGee is in debt. The solution? A yard sale of gifts from her ex-boyfriends.
But when it comes to pricing, she gets stuck. Surely the ways we invest in our romantic relationships should be reflected in the price. But how? Is the mixtape from your first love worth more than the vintage typewriter from a philanderer? Does sitting on an X-Acto knife wedged between seats on a bus to see the boyfriend you lost your virginity to increase or decrease the value of the necklace he gave you? Should you be compensated for the miserable times or do they render an item worthless?
Haley decides to gamble on a larger payout. She interviews her exes and enlists the help of a mathematician to create a formula–with eighty-six variables–for the cost of love. As she’s searching for answers, the one that got away reappears with a new proposition.
Female desire, heartbreak and the chance for integrity in the aftermath of both are held up in this whipsmart, original and daringly candid memoir. As Haley McGee interrogates her romantic triumphs and failures with unflinching detail and hilarity, her exquisite prose elevates this all too human conundrum: Is love worth it?
Thank you to the author for a gifted copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book was so creative and so fun to read. I love reading about bad dates, so I was instantly hooked by the blurb when Haley reached out to offer me a copy.
The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale felt like a conversation with a friend. I really liked the author’s voice and writing style, and felt like I was inside the story. It was so honest and straightforward and didn’t gloss over some of the uglier parts of life (like getting panic diarrhea after reading an upsetting message!). It must have taken a lot of bravery to portray herself so honestly.
The passages about Haley’s relationships, past and present, were my favorite parts to read. I especially liked reading about her relationship with T, although I was rooting for her to dump him the whole time. All of the relationships were written about in a very funny, candid way, and it just goes to show how often you can look back on a past relationship and laugh at yourself for how seriously you took it.
I loved the charts, diagrams, and handwritten equations to help illustrate the math that Haley and Gemma were working on. I will say that the math could have been a little less dumbed down. I think some of the prose could have been smoother if the author didn’t take the time, for example, to explain what a median and an outlier are, or how to solve a linear equation. People who are good at math know that stuff already, and people who don’t care about math would likely skim those paragraphs either way.
After reading the book, I would certainly want to see Haley’s show to see this story come to life. Her writing makes her seem like she would be hilarious in person!
Pick this book up if you’re looking for a lighthearted memoir about the trials of dating. This book is certainly relatable, and very worth the read.
QOTD: Have you kept anything from your exes? I have a couple of gifts that are more useful than they were sentimental, and I suppose some pictures are stored somewhere because I never delete pictures. Everything attached to memories got Marie Kondo’d along the way.
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