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In at the Deep End

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  3,327 ratings  ·  524 reviews
A fresh, funny, audacious debut novel about a Bridget Jones–like twenty-something who discovers that she may have simply been looking for love — and, ahem, pleasure — in all the wrong places (aka: from men)

Julia hasn’t had sex in three years. Her roommate has a boyfriend—and their sex noises are audible through the walls, maybe even throughout the neighborhood. Not to ment
ebook, 336 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published February 21st 2019)
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Average rating 3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,327 ratings  ·  524 reviews

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Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Dec 09, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer
DNF @ 25%: I truly hated the main character's voice in this one. I really tried to push through but life is too short to read books you're not enjoying! Thank u, next
Jun 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads-won
I don't know why but when I began reading In at the deep end, I had the Johnny Lee song running through my head "Looking for love in all the wrong places" In this book, twenty something Julia is living with her roommate and her roommate's boyfriend. Hearing them have sex, reminds Julia that she is alone and hasn't had sex in three years and the last time she did it wasn't all that great. She is just going through the motions. During the day she works a civil service job answering correspondence. ...more
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Julia, a civil servant in the correspondence department in London, shares a flat with her best friend Alice and her boyfriend Dave. Grumpy from being kept awake most of the night by Alice and Dave’s sex noises her mood is further soured by Alice pointing out that she hasn’t had sex in three years. Determined to change that, Julia sets off on a mission to meet people and bring about some changes in her life. What she doesn’t expect to discover is that she’s perhaps not straight after all. What fo ...more
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

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So much for my streak of amazing books. I think I jinxed myself by bragging about my good book luck. IN AT THE DEEP END was advertised as an LGBT+ Bridget Jones, which would have been aces had that actually been the case. It was not. Sadly, IN AT THE DEEP END is more like an LGBT+ FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, only without the compellingly intense (albeit dysfunctional) romance that made it such a best-seller.

Julia has been single for years and
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: Kirkus
Shelves: 2019
If a book is described as"Bridget Jones" alike, I am almost guaranteed to read it. English humor and dating disasters are my thing.

In at the Deep End begins as a funny lesbian Bridget Jones romp , and ends in an oversexed 9 1/2 Weeks-type emotional gutter.

So, our 26-year protagonist, Julia, hasn't had sex (with a person) in 3 years and wants to get back to business again. After having a very unsuccessful date with a guy, she decides to give a tumble with a woman a try. Surprise! This is Julia's
I was very kindly given an e-arc of this book through Netgalley and HarperCollins UK.

If I were just judging this book on the first 35%, then it could have been a five stars. Funny, crude and startlingly open, this is a contemporary novel about a young woman named Julia discovering her sexuality (which happens surprisingly quickly) and beginning a life as a queer woman. But then, as you get further through the book, you lose the 'modern Bridget Jones' vibe and it becomes darker, more uncomfortab
Julie Parks
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
This is a hilarious book with a somewhat dirty sex description in every chapter. It's like reading a book version of GIRLS.

Beware of the inevitable tears at the end, though!

Thank you NetGalley for this one-night-stand page-turner adventure in exchange for my honest review.
4.5 stars! What an incredible book! While at first it started lighter, with very Bridget Jones-esque dry wit about dating life in London (but about coming out as a lesbian), the tone went darker as it explored Julia's first serious relationship with a woman. This girlfriend turns out to be controlling and emotionally abusive. It's painful to watch Julia go through this, which is a testament to Davies' writing. I also loved the friends, family, and job portions of the book. It does have an HFN en ...more
Jun 05, 2019 rated it liked it
IN AT THE DEEP END is Kate Davies’s debut novel, following Julia, an anxious 20-something in London in an aimless job, as she learns she’s queer and starts exploring lesbian dating scene. For the most part, it was so bad it’s good - it’s definitely a “beach read,” it wasn’t very deep & it didn’t have to be. I sped through this book. Julia is snarky & funny, makes some bad decisions, and I cared enough about her to keep reading.

Maybe this is a spoiler (it’s also alluded to in the blurb), Julia ev
After reading the first chapter I thought for sure I’d be recommending this book to my friend. Julia’s thoughts as a narrator resonated closely with my own, and her wry insights were often coupled with a clever sense of humor. However, after about the first 40 pages, the dynamic began to shift in a way that made me feel increasingly uncomfortable. I still read through this book rather quickly; the humor never faded and the writing itself is very transparent, so we are able to gauge Julia’s true ...more
Rachel Hall
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A witty, honest and insightful literary lesbian rom-com that turns slightly toxic

Enlightening, uplifting and brilliantly humorous, In at the Deep End in Kate Davies’ rather graphic romantic comedy with a difference and sees her twenty-six-year-old protagonist and civil servant,
Julia, diving into the world of lesbianism. Narrated breezily in the first-person by self-deprecating, sardonic and uncompromisingly frank, Julia, the story has strong characterisation and several sizeable subplots.

Stephen Clynes
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Follow Julia who is 26 years old and is single. She lives in London but has not had sex for 3 years. Julia decides her dry patch has lasted for too long and jumps In at the Deep End to have some fun in her life.

I was really attracted to the cover of this book. It shows two red chilli peppers arranged together to let the reader imagine they were labia. In at the Deep End gets off to a great start from the first paragraph by informing the reader of Julia’s sex life.

The writing style within this b
Stacey (prettybooks)
As of next week, I'm 30 years old, but I rarely read books about marriage, divorce, affairs, mortgages, or having children. I'm still on that millennial bridge between teenager and adult, and enjoy books about young people like me, such as Tiffy and Leon in The Flatshare – people who are still figuring out life, discovering who they are, and working on their career, friendships and relationships, but who never feel like they know what they're doing.

Continue reading this review over on Pretty
May 28, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
I almost DNF'ed it three or fourth times. I don't know why I kept going but I guess I wanted to know how it ended.
That's a shame though because the beginning of the story was really cute and funny. The first half was great actually. The end was better than expected. But the rest, ugh.
you know how there’s a genre of books of age called “coming of age”? i feel like a “coming of gay” genre should exist

this book would fit perfectly in that, by the way
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

Many thanks to HMH Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Jul 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Everything you always wanted to know about lesbian sex but were afraid to ask.

A cross between Kinflicks and Fear of Flying, this wickedly witty and unflinchingly raunchy novel is both eye-opening and eye-watering regarding the sexually-explicit exploits of its female protagonist. If you are too young to have read the above titles, think ‘Fleabag’ rather than ‘Bridget Jones’ and you will get the right idea...

read and reviewed for
Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)
Let's start Pride month right, shall we?

Julia, a Londoner, seeks lust and satisfying sex after annoying dry spells plague her. However,  she's not getting her needs from men. After a night with a woman, she discovers she's a lesbian.

However, after meeting another woman, Sam, she falls into the deep end of a maddening relationship that challenges her prior self and the role she wishes to take in her future endeavors.

What follows is a coming of age tale about a woman discovering good sex in all th
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book reviews on

In at the Deep End is a brilliantly funny and honest read, and a book that not only makes a nice change from the many crime/ thriller novels I read, but also is so great that I will be buying copies for all of my friends.

This novel has lots of situations I can relate to, or I’ve heard discussed by people I know, so for a lot of it I smiled as I read main character Julia's thoughts and experiences, and really identified with her as a late twenties woman.

Julia r
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
In At the Deep End is about Julia, a twenty something sexually frustrated woman living in London. She lives with her friend, Alice and Alice’s boyfriend, Dave. Julia experiments with sex with a girl and realizes she is actually a lesbian. She enters a relationship with Sam, a dominant who wants an open relationship with BDSM qualities. The book examines ideas of what it means to be gay, to be a feminist, what abusive relationships actually look like. There is a lot you can unpack from what is wr ...more
Beth, BooksNest
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my gosh, I LOVED this book, the kind of love where I didn't want it to end and I was walking around with it glued to me. I really went on a journey with Julia, the protagonist, she changed and developed and became such a better character than she started off as.

Quite early on in this book after some slightly awkward encounters with men, Julia decides she may very well be a lesbian and after exploring a bit, she confirms her thinking. I liked that the blurb didn't really give too much away abo
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.

A fresh, funny, audacious debut novel about a Bridget Jones-like twenty-something who discovers that she may have simply been looking for love — and, ahem, pleasure — in all the wrong places (aka: from men)

Julia hasn’t had sex in three years. Her roommate has a boyfriend—and their sex noises
May 23, 2019 rated it did not like it

I wanted this book to be so much better. It kind of just relied on graphic sex scenes, taking drugs and a bad portrayal of BDSM and Poly relationships. There’s very little consent and Julia seems to be uncomfortable with most of it which makes it an uncomfortable read.

It started well and was funny and entertaining but it soon went downhill. It’s like the author couldn’t decide what genre she wanted to write. It definitely isn’t a rom-com. Halfway through it switches from funny to just sad. You
Jun 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The first portion of In At the Deep End starts off on a lighter note. Especially more Rom-Com as Julia explores her sexuality as a lesbian woman. Julia is able to connect well with a group from swing class and is able to get their love and support in her new journey. However, the tone of the novel quickly turned heinous when a relationship with Sam began.
The rest of the novel if filled with graphic, non consensual sex scenes, and a gross display of manipulation, leaving Julia in despair.
I found
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book was so funny and painful at the same time. it felt like watching a movie, it really pulled me into the story very well.
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
The only good thing about this book was its narrator on the audiobook - good job to her but other than that I mostly just have issues with this book and would not recommend it to my friends.
Julia is in her 20s, but her sex life is severely lacking and it feels like her love life is just not going anywhere. So she accepts an invite to a warehouse party to jump-start things. There she meets a conceptual artist--who also happens to be a woman. This awakens a new side of a Julia: a full-fledged lesbian coming out, where she finds a new set of friends, a new side of her sexuality, and a new life, really. But when she meets Sam, a new lover, their polyamorous relationship becomes complic ...more
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

i think it's partly that this is marketed as light and funny and everything, but it's got some pretty fucking heavy content. the other part was just me and adult contemporary/literary fiction not getting along.

Rep: lesbian mc, lesbian side characters, Black side character

CWs: abusive relationship, self harm, dubious consent sex scenes, gaslighting, threatened suicide
Jul 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Well, this was err... educational? I wasn't quite expecting the graphic S&M scenes. Not really my thing but it was an easy read.

I will say this needs a big ol' Trigger Warning for abusive/toxic/controlling relationships. Though it was good to see a book that showed that this happens in same sex relationships as well as straight.
Lesa Divine
4 🌟

Following Julia as she finds and understands her sexuality. Finding she enjoys being with wome a lot more than being with men.

Interesting to follow her through her life in finding herself. Meeting interesting people and trying new things.

But once she starts a relationship it's a lot more than she thought it'll be.
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Kate Davies was born and brought up in north-west London. She studied English at Oxford University before becoming a writer and editor of children’s books. She also writes comedy scripts, and had a short-lived career as a burlesque dancer that ended when she was booed off stage at a Conservative club, dressed as a bingo ball. Kate lives in east London with her wife. In at the Deep End is her debut ...more

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