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!
Hmm, it still seems interesting, especially since I’m also a single 20-something. I might check out the book myself at some point. I love that it’s actually a fiction book and not self-help… because that would just make it seem like it’s not okay to be single at all.
I’m so done with self-help books for being single, it’s not an illness or something that needs to be fixed! Lol
I definitely think if you’re in the mood for some light-hearted and fun frolics, this is a decent read.
But it just came at the wrong time for me. The message conflicted with my own thoughts at the minute, so there were parts of it I found grating.
If you do read it, let me know what you think! R xx
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I know what you mean, when you’re single it’s boring to be constantly asked why. I do think this would have been an awesome read if it did celebrate being single and how you can be better off on your own if that’s what makes you happy. I didn’t expect anything different from this one so I’ve never read it but it sucks to hear my ideas shone back to me.
I don’t hide the fact I adore romance. I love myself a HEA and a good romance can always make me smile. I do hope to find a book which actually reinforces the single life being okay.
I did try to watch the film version as I thought it could be fun if nothing else. Sadly, I just couldn’t make it through and had to turn it off. I didn’t relate to the characters and it just seemed too ridiculous. I just couldn’t get into it and considering it comes under the rom-com umbrella that isn’t a good sign as that should be easy viewing.
Yea, I have to say it was really well written, and I can see why it was turned into a movie (even if the movie plot is apparently nothing like the book?!), and there was definite Sex and The City style humour peppered throughout it, BUT it wasn’t all that empowering, it didn’t really answer the questions the blurb posed, and actually, it was a little despondent in tone in places.
When I’m in the mood for a good romance, I’m all over that, but sometimes it would be nice for a more realistic ending other than a HEA, especially when HEAs aren’t all that common IRL! It’s sad, but true. Sometimes I want romantic escapism, and sometimes I want a book to hold me in a cuddle and tell me that it’s all going to be OK. That your sole purpose for existing as a woman isn’t to make getting married your number one priority, and that are actually a complete human being without another half!
I watched the first 10 minutes of the movie. I want to try it again, if only to give it a scathing review! Lol R xx
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