Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Review: Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto by Eric Luper

Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Seth Baumgartner just had the worst day of his life.
His girlfriend dumped him (at Applebee's), he spied his father on a date with a woman who is not his mother (also at Applebee's!), and he lost his fourth job of the year. It's like every relationship he cares about is imploding, and he can't figure out what's going on.
To find answers, Seth decides to start an anonymous podcast called The Love Manifesto, exploring "what love is, why love is, and why we're stupid enough to keep going back for more." Things start looking up when Seth gets a job at a golf club with his hilarious and smut-minded best friend, Dimitri, and Dimitri's sister, Audrey. With their help, Seth tracks down his father's mystery date, hits the most infamous bogey in the history of golf, and discovers that sometimes love means eating the worst chicken-salad sandwich you can ever imagine.

This book was alright. I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped, but it wasn't bad.
It's about Seth, who is having a hard time. He's a boring guy on his own, but his girlfriend just broke up with him, and he's been seeing his father around town with a woman that is not his mother, and he's had a couple of fights with his best friend, Dimitri. But he's also started a podcast, the Love Manifesto, and has been getting close to Dimitri's little sister, Audrey.
Seth is alright. He's a bit of a jerk at times, but the thing I liked about him is that he learns from his mistakes. This is something that some people don't do a lot, and whenever he does something stupid (which is quite often, really), and it's pointed out that it was stupid, he feels bad and doesn't do it again. Like there was a scene with Caitlin, a girl that Seth is a bit of a jerk to, especially on his podcast, and she gets very pissed off about it. She does something quite awesome, and he feels bad about it. He doesn't even get mad about it. He also isn't too slow. Like he realizes how Audrey feels mostly on his own, and goes to do something about it. He does moan a bit about his father, but that's understandable. He also moans a bit about Veronica, his ex-girlfriend, which was a bit annoying. But she's a bit of a bitch, and I did not like her, so I mostly just wanted him to move on.
Dimitri, his friend, was alright. He's not a big jerk or too stupid or anything. But his sister Audrey, is quite awesome. The conversation between her and Seth was nice, and there's a sandwich thing that she does to him, which is kind of brilliant. And I did like her and Dimitri's relationship. And Kevin, a guy that she knows, was really interesting. Weird, but interesting.
Seth's father does something in this book, which I'm not going to explain in depth, but it's really bad of him. It's not what I was expecting, but it's not too much better, really. And I don't really believe him, either, or believe that nothing would happen between them. And it was sucky of him, and Seth's mother, for not telling Seth earlier.
One thing that really bothered me about this book, was the golf. This is probably just me, because I hate sports, of almost any kind. And there's several scenes in this book that are focused on golf, and I did not enjoy them.
There wasn't anything spectacular about the writing, it was fine. Also, Seth does podcasts, and parts of them are included in the book. They were interesting, and mostly just Seth talking about what's going on his life. And it gives a bit more insight to what he's thinking, since the book is written in third person.
So, I didn't love the book, but it was alright.

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