Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto by Eric Luper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
GENRE: Young Adult – Fiction
FORM: Book (Library)
SYNOPSIS: After suffering the worst day of his life; girlfriend dumps him, sees his dad with another woman, Seth starts on a journey of exploring love, it’s meaning, it’s purpose, if it’s even worth it. He hashes is out on a podcast, in which he calls himself The Love Manifesto. In his explorations, Seth learns about the chemical ins and outs of love, some lessons in being a good friend and person, and the benefits to eating the world’s worst chicken salad sandwich, ever!
REVIEW: Some of my favorite types of books include 1. Girls who kick butt, and 2. Books told from the male perspective. Considering the title, it’s pretty obvious this book is definitely not an option number 1. It’s a double bonus when the book is written by a male author too, because it makes me feel like it’s a more legit perspective. So here we have two for two! I’m not sure what draws me to male perspective books, except maybe because I’m female? I think had I been smart enough to have actually read books other than the ones assigned to me while I was in High School, and discovered said books, I may have at least had a little more understanding about guys. Or at least could assume that despite what the book may say, men are not from Mars and women are not from Venus. In many ways, it seems as though guys and girls have many of the same doubts and fears, and even expectations of others. It’s just how the sexes react that seems to be different. But then again, I’m basing my analysis on a few fiction novels. Anyhow…on with the review, right?
I felt like I could be friends with Seth Baumgartner. He was the slightly put off, a little sarcastic guy who was dealing with a large load, and in typical teenage fashion, was dealing with it on his own, even if he did have his friends right there with him. He makes honest mistakes and whole heartedly tries to correct them. His best friend, Dimitri, was the slightly overweight, comic relief of the book. Actually, he had some very insightful remarks, thrown in among some that were extremely gross, or mostly ignorant. Dimitri could have a book all on his own, I suspect he has a little bit to learn about self confidence, and perhaps when it’s best NOT to say exactly what is on his mind. The relationship between Dimitri and Audrey was classic brother and sister, I honestly have never seen a more true representation in any book. It seems that all of the books I’ve read recently, the siblings are almost like best friends, but here the relationship is more of an “I’m going to get on your nerves as much as possible, but in the end I’ve always got your back,” kind of understanding.
While I love music incorporated into books, the “music” in this book was very part and partial to the story in my opinion. Yeah, Seth creates this “anonymous” personality and hashes things out while whining, complaining, and coming to some honest revelations via podcasts, and pairs up his findings with music. I was just not feeling the music, on my end. I was too wrapped up in the other parts of the story I think.
WHAT I LOVED: This is not a make your heart race, stomach clench love story. I did not fall in love with Seth, I couldn’t care less who he ended up with in the end. I think it was Seth’s love discoveries that really kept me going in this story. Each new thing he learned seemed to take its place within the confusion that already existed in his brain. He would attempt to apply it, or make sense of it, but in the end, it all seems to seep through the cracks and out the window. There are things in life that are more important than a chemical high that you get when you meet an attractive person.
I also loved the many, many references to current events in the book. That is not something you find all the time, but even if in the media and public eye it dies down; in this book it will be forever remembered that Tiger Woods cheated on his wife. That’s just awesome!
NOT SO MUCH: I think I actually missed the heart racing, stomach clenching…which is something I have never gotten from male perspective book. Is it okay to love and not love a book for the same exact reason? Oh well, doesn’t matter, this is my blog after all!
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