I picked this book based on the title alone, – A Vacation on the Island of Ex-Boyfriends – thinking it would be a humorous novel of someone’s ridiculous past dating experiences. I was surprised to find that this book is a compilation of short stories, only one actually having to do with ex-boyfriends. None of the stories however are humorous. Instead, most of them revolve around sex in one way or another. One story depicts how an affair begins, yet another describes the relationship between two best friends – both cheating on their husbands.
Two (out of fourteen) of the stories stood out to me; one was Linguistics and the other Blink and Release Me. Linguistics begins in an impoverished country in the mist of gunfire. It is enthralling, scary and a mere 15 pages. It is based on a tourist who gets caught in the gunfire while protecting a child (not her own). Blink and Release Me, however, has a completely different tone. The setting is a hospital where our narrator believes she is the cause of her mother-in-law’s cardiac arrest. It goes deeper to describe the relationship between the narrator’s husband and his mother. The real caveat to having a bad relationship with the mother-in-law is the narrator’s feeling of worthlessness (which has to do with her father being in jail). These two stories, however fantastic, do not carry the entire book.
If you are looking for a quick summer beach read, A Vacation on the Island of Ex-Boyfriends could be for you. The entire collection of stories is only 168 pages and most of the stories are barely worth a read. Be wary of the title as this book is not what it seems. If, like me, you are looking for a humorous novel, then you will not find it here.
Jessi Buchmann lives in Beaverton, Oregon and works as a Project Manager. When she is not reading she can be found: writing, painting or wreaking havoc on her house doing home repairs.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Elephant Rock Productions. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.