How to be Single (Liz Tuccillo)

Rating: [rate 1.5]

How to be Single (Liz Tuccillo)Following a disastrous night out that began with steaks and martinis and ended in hospital, Julie Jenson decides that she and her four single friends, Georgia, Alice, Serena and Ruby, are doing something wrong. Between them, there’s more dysfunction and disappointment than she can handle.

So Julie quits her job and sets off to discover how women around the world deal with the Single Life. From proud Parisiennes to intense Italians, ice-cool Icelanders to brazen Brazilians, Julie attempts to learn the secrets of these women’s success.

Will she come back with the answers? Or will her jouney of self-discovery take her in another direction entirely…?

I really wanted to like this book. The title is sassy, and I knew I would be able to relate to it. The blurb seemed interesting enough, and when I saw that the paperback copy is already available at National Bookstore, I immediately swooped in and bought it (and it turns out the book isn’t in their system yet because it can’t be scanned, haha).

Like I said, I really wanted to like it. I promise, I wanted to. But after I got into a few chapters of it, I started to get bored. And I wanted to start strangling the characters — if they had enough life, that is. Why?

  • None of the characters felt real to me. They’re either too flat (Serena) or too extreme (Ruby) or just plain psychotic at some point (Alice/Georgia). The main character is not any help too, I didn’t feel any connection or sympathy to her at all.
  • The story felt too much like Eat, Pray, Love. Traveling around the world to write a book, meeting people and getting to know singles. The last item is not really a part of Elizabeth Gilbert’s goal in Eat, Pray, Love, but that book contained a story of self-discovery. The only self discovery I figured out here is she’s desperate, she fell in love and went into an adulterous relationship with a married guy, and she’s desperate (I’m sure there was also a mention of some sexy lingerie somewhere, but I can’t remember anymore). How about that for self-discovery?
  • The situations just seem…exaggerated. I don’t know. Or maybe it’s just because the entire book went everything I believed in that I had a hard time believing everything. Or I just refused to believe them. I know I’m not their age (35-38), but I hope I’m not that desperate (bordering on pathetic) if I get to their age and their situation.

Maybe I expected too much. Or maybe I shouldn’t really have picked it up anymore. I mean, it’s not like anything I’ve read before, and I’ve never read a book that just dripped of  desperation in almost every page. Like I said, I don’t know how it feels to be in their shoes. But I really refuse to believe that you have to go through all that to know how it is to be single!

But you know what’s funny? The last two pages of the book kind of saved this one for me. I find it funny that it would take them 400 pages for the characters to really accept the first lesson that they all know at the start: love yourself. They were just too convinced that it’s not enough to attract a good guy that they turned to other things. The last two pages somehow made the book almost okay, which is why it gets two stars. If you’d rather not go through the fluff, just read the last two pages and you’ll get the gist of the book.

If you’re feeling a bit…well, sad about your singlehood, I don’t really think it’s much a of a good read (except for the last two pages).

Oh and I just remembered. The writer of the book is also the co-author of He’s Just Not That Into You and a producer of Sex In the City. I haven’t read the other book (or watched the movie yet), and I’m not a fan of SATC, so maybe that kind of influenced my thoughts on the book. There’s the chick lit factor in the book, definitely, but it’s just not my kind of chick lit.