I Suck At Girls

Both of Justin Halpern’s books officially hold a very special place in my heart. I bought and read his first book, Shit My Dad Says, on the weekend that my boyfriend and I said our I Love You’s. It also became the book that my boyfriend’s dad and I bonded heavily over as we both found it utterly hysterical. Note the irony because neither of these are a romantic book at all. It’s just amazing how certain associations can occur! When my friend told me I had the chance to meet Justin and get his new book, I jumped at the opportunity. I thought I was in for an evening of laughs, which I got, but I walked away with a greater lesson engrained in my mind…

My friend gave me a galley copy of I Suck at Girls late Sunday night and the signing was Monday evening. Just like the first one, it promised to be a quick and easy read. I thought I could get away with reading a couple of chapters quietly at the office during lunch. Quietly. I was so wrong. I was barely ten pages in and already my face was covered with tears of laughter, I had knocked over part of my soup from laughing, and I was wheezing the especially funny parts aloud to my friend. I knew if I tried to read any further, I would probably end up causing some sort of havoc so I very sadly put it away. When I revisited it on the subway ride to the event, I’m sure I was quite the spectacle. It’s not often you see a 5-foot-nothing girl clutching her ribs and guffawing on the TTC. By the time I had gotten to the bookstore, I was two chapters shy of finishing the entire book.

I was the first one there, and pretty proud of it. I rushed to buy a copy for my boyfriend’s father and then claimed my seat in the front row. When the event started, to my delight it was Neil Pasricha who was introducing Justin! This was especially exciting for me because I had gotten the chance to work with Neil on launching his latest book, The Book of (Even More) Awesome, which is fantastic! It was a pretty fitting introduction seeing as how they’re both well-acquainted and extremely personable! Then Justin took the stage and began to read the very same chapter that I had tried, in vain, to wheeze out to my colleague earlier that day. Hearing him mimic his dad’s tone of voice and inflections made it that much better. He had the entire crowd captivated. People were trying to read along but struggling to hang on to the book as they were laughing too hard!

Here’s where the story gets good. I managed to stick around till the end of the event when it was only myself, Justin’s publicist whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting before, and a few of the bookstore workers. The conversation got around to long distance relationships and we all ended up having pretty similar stories; mine just happened to be the only one that was current. Everyone knows long distance is hard. I guess Justin especially appreciates that, having dedicated a couple of chapters in the book to it, and so he ended up signing a book for my boyfriend as well with a very special and uplifting piece of advice in it. So without realizing it, Justin had just immortalized his second book into my relationship. Thanks again, Justin!

Let’s face it, this book doesn’t need much of a review—everyone should already know its hysterical, cant-put-it-down qualities by now. And if you don’t, there you go. The take-home point for this book is to note that the author behind the book is just a regular person who goes through the ups and downs of life, same as us. Relationship failures, awkward prom moments, the first time you have sex and wonder why everyone raves about it so much, that moment you walk in on your parents having sex (thankfully that never happened to me; I was brought in by the stork), or even navigating your way through a relationship that’s rough but worth fighting for. There’s nothing smooth or suave about these stories; they’re down to earth, honest, and pretty much reflect most of our normal life experiences. Justin learned that looking back on all these (occasionally cheek-burning) memories can actually help you carve out your future path. Coincidentally, the person whom he was having a long distance relationship with is now his wife. At the end of the day, be it a relationship matter or not, it’s nice for all of us to remember that a success story can come out of the blazing trail of failure we’ve left behind us.

 

I Suck At Girls     

 

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