My First (And Probably Last) Book Review

Posted By on December 18, 2008

I was recently asked to review a book for my site called You Lost Him At Hello by Jess McCann. At first I was all excited because I love chick lit! Then I READ the email and realized this was a relationship/self-helpy book. (*groan*) So I was originally going to say no because I’ve seen all the Sex & The City episodes. I know all there is to know about dating. That is, if I ever went on dates. 

But then I agreed because maybe I’m making some grave error and I could totally learn a thing or two from a book. And then I could pass on this wisdom to all my single ladies. And if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it. And other Beyonce lyrics. 

So I agreed. And then I got the book and all its PR materials. And then I was like “You Lost Me At The Press Release!” But I agreed to read the book and give it an honest review. Which is kind of what I’m doing. And will probably not land me any more reviews in the near future.

First, I’ll start with the bad stuff. Because whenever I have a job review they always start with the good stuff and end with the bad stuff. And then you end up walking out of the room in tears wondering why on Earth anyone would employ you with all your faults and such. 

The biggest thing I disliked about this book is that the major theme of it is that if you want to land a man, you have to play games. You always have to look your best, act your best and be a total game player. And I know I’m single and have no prospects, so maybe that is what I’m doing wrong. But if I have to do all that “waiting to call him back and pretending you’re uninterested and are too busy for him” game, I’m not interested in a finding a man. I believe you don’t have to play games to find the man of your dreams. I know plenty of people in wonderful, loving relationships that didn’t have an ounce of game play. I’m too old for games.

To be honest, I wanted to give up on this book on page 6. I didn’t. While it has its flaws, it does have some good points too. There were a few times where I read something in this book that you shouldn’t do, things that freak the shit out of dudes, and realized that I did that thing (or things) in a past relationship.

The idea of the book is to sell yourself to a potential mate. Makes complete sense. Because really, dating isn’t much different that a job interview, right? You’re trying to sell your best qualities so you get hired. Or betrothed. This is good advice for anything you do in life. And it starts with having self-confidence, which I agree with McCann,  is very important in relationships (and life in general). 

In the book, McCann talks about the SEE Factor. It’s a way to engage men in public places and get their attention and let them know you are interested. The idea is when you see a guy you like, smile, make eye contact and exude positive energy. I honestly believe this will work, if I could ever work up the nerve to test it out. I’m afraid my venture into this would result in some sort of creepy smile and stalkery staring, instead of making eye contact and giving a casual, flirty smile. 

Overall, the book gives some good tips. There are the obvious ones, the ones so many of us forget about when we start dating someone new- like not sleeping with someone on the first date or not getting hammered on a date. A lot of these things we do as women are common mistakes and can send a dude running for the hills.

Obviously a lot of the things in this book that are big no-nos are also things you learn as you experience life and mature. Things you can’t learn from books. Things you do when you’re 22, whether it be in dating or in your career or just in life in general, are a lot stupider than things you do when you’re 32. But at the time, they SEEM like good ideas. That’s what life is all about, experiencing and growing and learning from the past.

So my verdict is that the book was meh. It definitely wasn’t for me, but I probably picked up a tip or two.

But maybe you’ll like it! So if this lovely review has intrigued you and you’d like to win my copy of this book, please let me know in the comments and I’ll do a drawing and choose a winner.

(And then after you read it, we can exchange emails and talk about how we really feel about this book. Doesn’t that sound like fun?)

About the author

Kristabella, who also answers to “Hey! Drunk Girl!”, is a reformed band geek with an amazing ability to drink most people under the table. You can read her inane ramblings here, where she talks about her exciting life as a spinster with two cats and a fascination for Bacon.


30 Responses to “My First (And Probably Last) Book Review”

  1. christa says:

    i understand the idea of putting your best self forward. but the idea of a date being a job interview is so lame and so overused. a date with the right person is fun. no job interview is fun. and selling yourself is so demeaning.

    i’m of the school where, you be yourself, perhaps a honed version that doesn’t wear sweatpants, fart, obsess over the hills and mow an entire brick of cheese on the first date, yet someone who lets a dude know that, hey, i might wear sweatpants, fart, gorge on cheese and mention LC in casual convo.

    eff the job interview. that’s for people who just want a husband, any husband, pretty dress. and to me, that’s lame. no one ever found love by acting like they were on a job interview on their first date. maybe a husband. never love.

    that game stuff is only good for catching players. and players only love you if they’re playin’.

    christas last blog post..real live tears …

  2. slynnro says:

    I love you. That is all.

  3. Mahnee says:

    Sounds like the Mrs. Cleaver era in a way…the 50s which was even before MY time!!!!

  4. ali says:

    what slynnro said.

    alis last blog post..sometimes karma is just mean. like me.

  5. All I can say is: I’m so effing glad I haven’t been on a date since 1988.

    Jen on the Edges last blog post..Gift wrap, Jenworld style

  6. Candy says:

    Unfortunately, I think the only people who really need to read a book like that would never read a book like that. While your 22 year old self could maybe have gained a pointer or two, your 22 year old self was too busy partying to sit down long enough to read it. (I’m just guessing…I could be wrong.)

    Candys last blog post..In Which I Yell “FIRE” in a Movie Theater

  7. Ree says:

    Um, I’m commenting to tell you that I liked the review…but please. Keep the book. 😉 I don’t need to have any more testosterone in my life. Snort.

    Rees last blog post..Christmas ‘07 – Past in Polaroids 13

  8. Part of me feels like the book should be called “Duh!”. I love reading a book that confirms the bits I’m getting right; but at the end of the day there is not magic formula, no to-do list of things you check off in finding your guy. Sometimes it just happens. And wearing appropriate size earrings, neutral suits, and closed-toed shoes may not get you there.

    thecoconutdiariess last blog post..Is That Blood on Your Doorstep or You Just Happy to See Me?

  9. Alice says:

    heh. yours is the 3rd review i’ve read of this book, and all of them were basically like yours: “i pretty much hated it, but i’ll try and come up with the good points to be fair.” i’ll pass on reading it, methinks 🙂

    Alices last blog and dating and muscovy duck, oh my!

  10. Oh man. I watch women around me like my guy’s sister go through the dating gauntlet over and over again, and I shudder. It’s true, the lasting relationships really have no game playing involved, but I do remember feeling like a used car salesman when I was getting someone interested in me. “Sure, she’s got some mileage on her, but she’s great at holding cups.”

    Amanda Nicoles last blog post..third day of christmas

  11. Danielle-lee says:

    I’m with Candy on this one. The people that probably need to read this book are probably NOT going to read the book. And also? I am not so sure I agree that you need to SELL yourself. I mean, if you look at relationships as a business transaction, then YES, I suppose you sell yourself. But I’m from the line of thinking that how you are is what sells you, without you ever trying.

    Danielle-lees last blog post..Why I should (NOT) be allowed out of the house

  12. TUWABVB says:

    What happens when you “catch” the guy and the dating is over? Do you go back to the “real” you? I would think that pretending your are someone that you are not is a perfect precursor to divorce.

    I love your honest in the review though – it seems like this book has been written before.

    Your first paragraph reminded me of the “compliment sandwich” – do you watch “Family Guy?” If so, you’ll enjoy this:

    TUWABVBs last blog post..Letter to a Poser Grim Reaper

  13. Polite golf-clapping here for your exceedingly polite review of something, I’m assuming, had you tearing your hair out. Well done.

    Confession time: I read “He’s Just Not That Into You.” And liked it, despite the goofy author and his spiky hair. There’s good stuff in that one.

    Off to go die of embarrassment . . .

    Legallyblondemels last blog post..But Back to the Fashion – Banana Republic

  14. I’m pretty sure I hooked my husband by getting drunk with him, so I don’t I would have learned anything from this book either. Unless it had hangover remedies.

    I once looked through “The Rules” in a bookstore and disturbed the other patrons by laughing loudly at the absurdity of it. If you aren’t yourself before you get married, you’ll have problems after you get married.

    Anonymous New Yorks last blog post..Naughty or Nice? Holiday Gift Advice!

  15. Nic says:

    I’m pretty sure that following a formula from a book falls under the category of Trying Too Hard. If you’re content with yourself and your life and you leave the house every now and then and talk to other people, it will happen in time.

    Nics last blog post..Santa Claus is coming to town

  16. Angella says:

    I don’t need the book, but I love how honest you are. Yet another reason to love you.

    Angellas last blog post..Good Mother

  17. Manic Mommy says:

    I wish ALL book reviews were written like this!

    Manic Mommys last blog post..BReaKDoWN, aND NoT My CaR

  18. I’m afraid my venture into this would result in some sort of creepy smile and stalkery staring, instead of making eye contact and giving a casual, flirty smile.

    ME TOO. Though I do think this is legit good advice.

    The “selling yourself” thing is complicated to me. Because we are all selling ourselves all the time, right? We just try to only do it to the extent that we still define as “sincere” or “authentic”.

    But really, what does that even mean? Putting your best foot forward isn’t just good advice, it’s kind of necessary. Even if a dude is your soulmate, he might never discover that if you call him 85 times after your first date. Ditto for the reverse situation.

    It’s hard to say when it crosses that line and becomes a “game”. But I do think that if you’re having to stifle yourself in some major, uncomfortable way with someone, then you are probably not a good match. And eventually that will become obvious.

    Laurie | Your Ill-fitting Overcoats last blog post..And Now You Know Everything

  19. Rhi says:

    I do not want to win the book, but I totally want to make fun of it with you. Does it perhaps come on CD?

    Rhis last blog post..Friday Bullets: Ice, Ice Baby Edition

  20. Melissa says:

    LOL, meh!! How exactly does meh rate on the 5 star scale? 😉

    Melissas last blog post..Can I Call In Sick?!?!

  21. regan says:

    love is a game? I’m so confused, I thought it was a battlefield.

    regans last blog post..spreading holiday cheer

  22. Vanessa says:

    First, do NOT send me this book. I’m much more of a QuirkyAlone style which is to be happy with who you are in life and by doing so, you will attract the exact person you are meant to be with. QuirkyAlone’s also believe it’s absolutely ok to be alone. Don’t date for the sake of dating or playing games; date because you genuinely like someone. This book misses the point that women aren’t always the ones at fault, sometimes the guy screws up too. Anyway, I tried to give this book a reasonable review, but I didn’t love it. At. ALL.

    Vanessas last blog post..Free Shipping Day

  23. Bethy says:

    Word, Christa and Anonymous New York. As the wise Samantha Jones once said, “Sleep with him on the first date, or the tenth, he could dump you at any point.” Or something to that effect.

    My husband and I got drunk on our first date, ended up singing karaoke and attempting to sleep together. Any man that will call you after a boozy rendition of “The Thong Song” is a keeper in my book!

    Bethys last blog post..Cold, Hard Cash-In

  24. DM says:

    Every time there is a new book out about how to attract a mate I just thank God I gave up on it years ago. I am happier being single than I ever was in any of my relationships (yeah, longest one lasted 6 months. And that wasn’t the guy I was engaged to).

    I figure maybe I’ll worry about dating again when I’m 50. What’s another 9 years of celibacy?

    DMs last blog post..Since I’m a follower

  25. stef says:

    mmmkay, i agree with just about everything you’ve said, only i haven’t read the book. it sounds a lot like that other how-to-land-a-man book called “the rules”…a friend of mine tried it and true to form, her boyfriend started treating her how she wanted to be treated, but only in reaction to how she treated him. is it too much to ask to have a guy treat you well without you having to manipulate him? apparently, it is. i don’t accept that.

    i will, however, accept a free book…and now that i’m in the dating scene again after (a really long time for only being 31), i wouldn’t mind a few pointers, even though it sounds like the majority of them i may just throw out anyway.

    stefs last blog it’s cold outside!

  26. Zandor says:

    Whenever I see those type of books I always wonder who would actually buy them. However I would be happy to have one for free to read. It could be interesting to make fun of and I think someone previously said something about how your 22 year old self could use it right? Well.. I am 21 so maybe I could use it. I did just break up with my boyfriend. I could always try to follow the book exactly at school and see what happens, but that would be too wierd and I don’t think I could do it, but I still think it would be somewhat interesting to read.

  27. metalia says:

    WHATEVER. I should totally write the definitive “find a man” book, using my patented “help stage a quasi-intervention for a borderline alcoholic friend, meet future husband in the process” method. It’s foolproof! Or it was, the one time I used it.

    (I adored your review; you crack my ass up.)

    metalias last blog post..Wii have a Wiinner!

  28. You read this book too? It seems like the author is getting a ton of reviews, even though most aren’t as hilarious as yours!

    nancypearlwannabes last blog post..What Bores You More: Discussing the Weather or Books?

  29. Scarlet says:

    Playing games with a guy is like wearing a super padded bra—the truth has to be revealed sometime.

    Scarlets last blog post..Rock ‘N’ Roll High School

  30. […] Friday, December 19th:  Kristabella- Full of Snark Since 1977 […]