Monday, March 10, 2014

He Loves Me Not

"Obviously there are one trillion things that could be worse about my life.
Not having a boyfriend at any given moment bothers me very little.
Not having ever had one bothers me only slightly more, only because I want to know that I'll get to fall in love at least once, for real."
--Katie Heaney, Never Have I Ever


Genre: Adult Non-Fiction, Memoir
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 272
Publication Date: January 14th, 2014
Source: eARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Find on Goodreads

Goodreads Description

 "I've been single for my entire life. Not one boyfriend. Not one short-term dating situation. Not one person with whom I regularly hung out and kissed on the face."

So begins Katie Heaney's memoir of her years spent looking for love, but never quite finding it. By age 25, equipped with a college degree, a load of friends, and a happy family life, she still has never had a boyfriend ... and she's barely even been on a second date.

Throughout this laugh-out-loud funny book, you will meet Katie's loyal group of girlfriends, including flirtatious and outgoing Rylee, the wild child to Katie's shrinking violet, as well as a whole roster of Katie's ill-fated crushes. And you will get to know Katie herself -- a smart, modern heroine relaying truths about everything from the subtleties of a Facebook message exchange to the fact that "Everybody who works in a coffee shop is at least a little bit hot."

Funny, relatable, and inspiring, this is a memoir for anyone who has ever struggled to find love, but has also had a lot of fun in the process.

The Idea. Reading the description I thought that book karma was going to come to me...funny how karma works, eh? You get it when you least expect it and when you expect it, it stays far, far away. The idea that another mid-20s woman has never had a boyfriend in her life spoke to me because...well...that opening quote of the description is my life. So needless to say, I thought I would be able to relate to this completely and I was so excited about it. However, after the first 10% or so it went downhill for me. BUT the idea of the novel is great. I wish it would have affected me a bit more...see below...

The Voice. Katie has a very distinct voice. She can be humorous at times. But overall, I found her narration to be irritating. I wasn't enjoying reading it. Her constant self-deprecating attitude grated on my nerves. While she did make some very amusing observations about the hierarchy of the social classes known as middle school were spot on, the rest of the book was not insightful. I anticipated a book filled with anecdotes that boiled down to really poor luck and asshole men. What I got was a socially awkward young woman who consistently blamed others for not having a relationship. I was annoyed! I'm sorry! There were guys that were interested in her and she ran the other way. We all had celebrity crushes but the extent she talked about them made me almost uncomfortable to the point of wondering if the author needed a little (major) dose of reality. I think she was in love with the infatuation and the unknown of having a crush. I'm not an expert on relationships (obviously) but I felt like somebody needed to tell her that men are simple creatures. At one point in the book she didn't know if this guy liked her after going out several times over the course of a few weeks but he never kissed her or made a move. Um, newsflash: men are easy. If they like you, they're gonna kiss you. If they want to date you exclusively, nothing short of you telling them flat out NO will stop them. Men are competitive, they don't want to lose a girl they are interested in to somebody else. They will claim you. Wise up. You need some better advice or some new friends to tell you this.

The Pacing. While it was overall a quick read, I felt that at the exact 50% point the book needed to wrap up. I think the second half dragged on and elaborated on things that didn't need to be elaborated on. It was a 272 page book that got real old, real fast for me. It felt like a lot of repetition and I was hearing the same story over and over again.

The Intention. What was the point of this? Is Katie looking for love? Or looking for a best friend to live with for the rest of her life? I was very confused by the overall intention of the book. It didn't feel like the author wanted to find love as much as she wanted to be in an exclusive BFF relationship with her friend Rylee. The book talked about her misadventures (or lack thereof) in dating and then all of the sudden she's talking about Rylee and how much she means as a best friend and how Rylee is her soulmate...huh? The obsession with keeping her friend single and all to herself was very odd to me. I think the author is looking for more acceptance as a human being in general rather than finding a partner in life.

The Excuses. Uh, we GET IT, you're a feminist. Congrats? Being a feminist and having a boyfriend are not mutually exclusive. I got the vibe that she was setting an underlying tone that no man could handle her and her independent woman attitude. Maybe I'm reading too much into it but I really didn't want to read the word feminist again when it came out of nowhere and was completely not in context with the situation at hand. It's not like there were any situations where every guy that was interested in her turned her away because she was the f-word. It's not a swear word. Being a feminist basically means you think women should have the same rights as men, not that you have to verbally castrate them to be legitimate equals.

No. I know a lot of people enjoyed this book so my expectations were probably a bit too high. But the lack of direction of the book and overall theme confused me and left me irritated. Maybe you'll get more of a laugh I did but this book wasn't for me. However, if you'd like to know some seriously depressing-but-the-story-funny-now-years-late pseudo-dating experiences, I could give you an earful. 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting... The book sounds like it's cute, but what got me just reading the description is that she has loads of friends, a good family, is educated... those are things men like! I like books that take a humorous look at dating, but have a problem with the "I've never had a boyfriend" books because they seem to be, like you said this one was, self-deprecating and basically depressing. Anyway... I hate that this one didn't work for you. Hopefully you can find one that does!

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