Friday, May 25, 2012

Review: I Suck at Girls by Justin Halpern

Goodreads Summary:
"Human beings fear the unknown. So, whatever's freaking you out, grab it by the balls and say hello. Then it ain't the unknown anymore and it ain't scary. Or I guess it could be a shitload scarier."

Fans of the #1 bestseller Sh*t My Dad Says will recognize the always patient voice of Justin Halpern's dad as it crackles through this hysterical new audiobook. The story begins when Justin announces that he's decided to propose to his girlfriend. "You've been dating her for four years," his dad replies. "It ain't like you found a parallel fucking universe."

But eventually he gives Justin some advice: that he should think back over everything he's learned in life about women, relationships, and himself before making his decision. And that's just what Justin does—revisiting everything from his disastrous childhood crushes to the night he finally lost his virginity while working as a dishwasher at Hooters.

Full of his dad's patented brand of wisdom, it's also full of new characters just as funny—from his brother, who provides insights into wedding night rituals, to his first boss, who warns Justin to man up: "That's what a man does. He takes his shots and then he scrubs the shit out of some dishes." The result is a pilgrim's progress through the landscape of sex and love—by one of the funniest writers at work today.

Basically, this book is about Halpern's (mostly non-existent or solo) love life from his teen years through proposing to his girlfriend. In his first book, Sh*t My Dad Says , his father was the star. The guy with the best and funniest lines. The same is true in I Suck at Girls- he's clearly riding on dad's coat tails.

Like many wives, I'm always trying to get my husband to read more. That's the reason I bought Halpern's first book. It seemed like such a "guy" book. The same is true of this book which features stealing pornography from the homeless, masturbation, and diarrhea. But, of course, I ended up reading Sh*t My Dad Says- if only to be able to have a book discussion with my husband. I was surprised at how much I liked it. Listening to his father was almost like having a visit with my late grandfather- who also had no filter and no off switch between his brain and mouth. (But in a funny, charming way.) I liked the first book so much that I got I Suck at Girls for me. I'll let my husband read it now that I'm done with it. 

Yes, this is a funny book. There were several LOL moments- not an exaggeration. I was giggling in the library while reading this. (While my son was getting some tutoring.) There were many more moments that had me smiling. But, to me, one of the things I like best is how vulnerable the author allows himself to be. That he's not afraid of looking bad, silly, insecure. And also, that no matter what his father says or how he says it- these two clearly love each other and that shows in this book and is very touching. Maybe that's why so many women- including me- really like these books despite the potty humor and masturbation jokes. 

Recommended for: Everyone, but especially husbands/boyfriends who don't read. It's short- under 200 pages and funny. Unless your husband/boyfriend has major daddy issues that will send him drunk dialing dad and leaving you to handle the fallout (emotional or otherwise).

Overall rating: 3 1/2 stars

Genre rating: 4 stars (Imagine 4 pictures of Groucho Marx)

Justin Halpern's Blog

Justin Halpern's Twitter


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