How To Be Single by Liz Tuccillo, published January 2016 by Simon & Schuster.
Read: August 2017
Genre: Adult Fiction/Contemporary
Get It Now: Wordery
Goodreads Synopsis: It’s the most annoying question, and they just can’t help asking you. You’ll be asked it at family gatherings, particularly weddings. Men will ask you on first dates. Therapists will ask you over and over again. It’s the question that has no good answer. It’s the question that when people stop asking it, makes you feel even worse – why are you single?
The Book Review
As a single 20-something, it’s pretty obvious why this book appealed to me. Going into it knowing it was a work of fiction and not a self-proclaimed self-help book, I was hoping for some wit, a little charm, and an ending that doesn’t revolve around getting the guy (I’m side-eyeing you, movie version of He’s Just Not That Into You). In a world where proper dating is going out of fashion, where friends-with-benefits is becoming the norm, and where Tinder really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, I was hoping this novel would add a fresh, if humorous, perspective. It half delivered.
The book’s author, Liz Tuccillo, worked on Sex and the City, and I definitely got that vibe from this novel. There were moments where I laughed out loud, and the main female characters all have relatable aspects to their personalities in a “if you haven’t been there, you’ll know someone who has” kind of way. That being said, there were plot points that had me rolling my eyes, sighing in frustration, and generally being done with stereotypical (and often quite depressing) single 38 year old female bullshit.
The premise for this book was a good one, and the blurb was certainly enticing, but overall I think the execution let it down. What I wanted was something fresh, and something positive, about modern dating and life as a single 30-something, but what I got ended up being more of the same – more of how life in the single club somehow marks you as being incomplete, more about the struggles to find a man who isn’t an asshole (the story’s perspective, not my own), only in this story we also had a dash of cultural stereotype thrown in for good measure.
Maybe my expectations were a little too high, after all, this was written by one part of the duo who brought us the book, He’s Just Not That Into You, which I read around 8 years ago, and thought at the time was quite good (don’t quote me on that, it has been a while). The blurb would lead you to believe that this book will empower the women it is targeted to, the ones who are tortured regularly with the question, “why are you single?” (honestly, is there a correct response to that? Answers on a postcard, please!), but alas, it doesn’t.
In terms of entertaining “chick-lit”, no doubt this will satisfy your cravings, but if you want something a little more real, something a little more mindful, something a little more… assertive, you’re not going to find it here.
Side Note: I’ve yet to see the movie, partly because it seems to have absolutely nothing to do with the book, other than sharing the same name, and partly because I have significant dislike for both of the leading actresses in it. Do a woman a favour, let me know in the comments if I am actually missing out on anything, or if I can continue to live my life blissfully unaware of its contents!
Have you read How To Be Single, or seen the movie? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!