XOXperts Review: The Dirty Book Club by Lisi Harrison

Title: The Dirty Book Club
Author: Lisi Harrison
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Women's Fiction
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Clique series comes a novel about the importance of friendship, and, of course, the pleasure of a dirty book. 

M.J. Stark’s life is picture-perfect—she has her dream job as a magazine editor, a sexy doctor boyfriend, and a glamorous life in New York City. But behind her success, there is a debilitating sense of loneliness. So when her boss betrays her and her boyfriend offers her a completely new life in California, she trades her cashmere for caftans and gives it a try.

Once there, M.J. is left to fend for herself in a small beach town, with only the company of her elderly neighbor, Gloria, and an ocean that won’t shut up. One afternoon, M.J. discovers that Gloria has suddenly moved to Paris with her friends to honor a fifty-year-old pact. And in lieu of a goodbye, she’s left a mysterious invitation to a secret club—one that only reads erotic books.

Curious, M.J. accepts and meets the three other hand-selected club members. As they bond over naughty bestsellers and the shocking letters they inherited from the original club members, the four strangers start to divulge the intimate details of their own lives… and as they open up, they learn that friendship might just be the key to rewriting their own stories: all they needed was to find each other first.

My relationship with this book was a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.” Perhaps I wasn’t in the right headspace or mood, but I found it quite difficult to get into the story. I don’t have much to say because of this, but I will touch on a few broad points overall.

This is a story about family and friendships, and the special, unique bonds between females. The women in this novel form fun, beautiful, and healthy friendships that support and boost one another when need be. That was one thing that I did like and can’t deny was the best element of this story. The book club changes their perspectives on life in the best way possible. It was funny at times, and saucy at others. The title suggests it may be a little, well, dirty, and it is, but in a completely innocent way. Does that make any sense? Okay, think of this book club like that of your mother’s, aunt’s, or even grandma’s. 

The characters were well-developed and realistic, which worked at times, but hindered the story for me at other moments. I found them to be tough to relate to or even like, really. I couldn’t understand their intentions and behaviors. The writing was another attribute that I found less than with its choppiness and disjointedness throughout. The ending came about seemingly forced and a bit too abruptly leaving me disappointed. Again, this book this just wasn’t a book that resonated with me personally, nor is this an author one I will revisit.

Lisi Harrison is the author of the #1 New York Times best-selling series "The Clique", "Alphas", "Monster High," Pretenders," and her first adult novel: "The Dirty Book Club" out 10.10.17. Lisi was born in Toronto, Canada, and lived in NYC for 15 years while she worked at MTV. She now lives in Laguna Beach, CA and is a member or her own Dirty Book Club.