I received a Kindle copy of this book for free as part of a Goodreads giveaway.
When Harley Aberle got her first iPod, she created the kind of playlist every girl wants to keep on solitary lockdown. She called it The Exes-a collection of long-lost songs that instantly steamrolled her down a memory lane of men wider than a six-lane freeway. "The Exes in My iPod: A Playlist of the Men Who Rocked Me to Wine Country" is a no-holds-barred account of Harley's quest to win the hearts of a motley crew of men during her twenties-that golden decade of poor judgment where college, career, alcohol and romance run a crash course. With a musical time capsule of "lucky 13" songs, Harley takes you on a rockin' journey through laugh-out-loud heartaches and headaches, as this redneck waitress from a long line of alcoholics searches for true love and her calling in life-finding both in California wine country. Grab some earbuds, pour a glass of wine and kick back with an amusing e-book that will inspire you to create your own Exes playlist and discover the hidden beauty of all that baggage.
The first impression that I had when beginning this book was that I was going to really really enjoy this. I love stories about bad romances, music and a good glass of wine. I initially was excited to listen to the samples of the music that make up this book and I could not wait for time to read this. Even if I was was forced to read this entirely on my iPhone.
What I liked: As I said, the first impression I had of this book was good. I really loved the concept behind the book, especially as I realized that the book was interactive. As technology is rapidly growing, it only makes sense for writers to embrace the concept of eReaders and use it to it's full potential. This was one of the first books I read that did take advantage with various hyperlinks spread throughout the book...though, unfortunately I found that I did not click on any with the intentions of going back after the book was read to try them out. I just have not felt the motivation after finishing.
What I didn't like: The first indication I had that perhaps I had been hasty to judge this book highly was the amount of errors littered throughout the book. I can understand that no book is going to be completely errorless, but after awhile it became obvious that it was not edited very well. The biggest error was that Braille was spelled incorrectly, nor was it capitalized. So red flag. I still had high hopes but off the bat I had to shave off half a star from the poor editing.
The story began okay, and I managed to get through the first few chapters while really enjoying it. Sure I thought Harley was a bit of an idiot, at least when guys were concerned but it was fun watching Harley wrestle with one bad romance after another...after another...after another....after another. All in all, Harley wrote about 13 separate guys and it took a huge amount of commitment and patience to get to the end. I can't remember how many chapters I read before I got bored, but it was not very many. Again, I think this could have been remedied by some good editing, knowing what to keep and what to cut would have been a huge help moving this story forward.
I found the cultural references, aside from the music references annoying. Using these kind of references is already risky, as it dates the book and after awhile it's not relevant. What was annoying though was that the references did not fit in with the time period. The majority of this book takes place in the 90's, yet the references did not match up.
This book earned a two and a half stars, mostly because I did like the concept and the interactive aspect of this book but I do think that this book could have been a much better read if only Lisa Mattson had collaborated with a strong editor that could help her rein in Mattson's story telling talent.