Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Will You Be My Boyfriend?

'51/50: The Magical Adventures of a Single Life'
Author: Kristen McGuiness

Format: Audio CD
Published: Phoenix Audio; May 2010
Narrator: Kristen McGuiness
Genre: Memoir
Rating: B
Source: Library 

Synopsis: After years of living the LA high life, Kristen McGuiness found herself single, sober, and seriously questioning whether she was destined to be alone. How hard could it be to find a guy whose hand she could hold at the movie theater, whose name she could put down as her emergency contact at the doctor’s office, and who would know when to tell her she’s beautiful? And more than that—where was that euphoric full-body tingle spurred only by being in love?
So she did what any single, newly sober thirty-year-old would do: made a pact to go on 51 dates in 50 weeks. Giving fate the middle finger, she decided that if the perfect guy wasn’t going to walk into her life, she’d find him herself. Using The Onion’s online personals, a sympathetic boss, weekly meetings for recovering addicts, a magical spiritual healer, and good old fashioned blind dates arranged by friends, she embarks on a whirlwind carousel of men she might not normally classify as potential mates.
At times heart-breaking and laugh-out-loud hilarious, Kristen McGuiness’s witty, brutally honest writing gives a valuable true-life spin on Bridget Jones and Sex and the City. 51/50 is a gripping read that will inspire others to follow her courageous search for love.

My Take: I love a good memoir and I seem to be on a non-fiction roll this year. This one particularly intrigued me because it was about dating and man, dating was hard. I love to read a book that's willing to be honest about how hard it is to date. As much as I love chick-lit, those always end with a happy ever after, and let's be honest, real life doesn't always, so sometimes I like to counter this with memoirs because that's usually where I can find my dose of dating realism. I used to date a lot before I met my current boyfriend of almost 4 years. I loved dating. That rush of the initial first date and getting to know someone. It was like you could create a whole new persona. I loved that initial rush of the first month or two when it was all flirting and can't get them out of your head but eventually you do yearn for something more. Someone you can depend on. Someone who can be your partner in life.

That someone is exactly what Kristen McGuiness is looking for in 51/50. She wasn't always looking for it though. While this book is a dating book it is also a gritty memoir because McGuiness has been through a lot. She is a recovering drug addict and you will learn all about what it's like to be a drug addict and what kind of person a recovering drug addict is attracted to. Note to self, not the same kind of person those without addiction problems are attracted to! We need different things from our partners, which makes sense. McGuiness also had a troubled past, which makes sense when you think about the addiction issues. 

McGuiness has some serious daddy issues. In this book you will go deep into her father's own addiction, jail time, and it's long term affects on McGuiness. It's sad and heartbreaking and obviously affects her relationships with men. How could it not? How does any of our own relationships with our father's, both good and bad, not affect our relationships now? 

And then, yes, you have the dates. Lots and lots of dates! This girl's got guts. She just goes for it. She makes a plan to go on 51 dates in 50 weeks and she does it. You got to admire a person who sets a goal and achieves it. Obviously more than just examine why she can't find her soul mate, she examines what she needs to fix within herself. This is a dark story. Not a happy go lucky romance. Will she get her romeo at the end? That of course is for you to read and I would definitely say it is worth reading because, if for nothing else, who else has the guts to do something like this?!

Cover Lust: I'm going to be honest - yawn!


  1. This looks fantastic! What a fun idea for a memoir. Thanks for the review.

  2. First, I have to agree-yawn cover for such a fun idea. That's a brave woman who sets up a goal like that. I wonder what kind of Rome-Oh-nos she found. Sounds likes a fun read. Really good review.

  3. sound good! i love a good gritty memoir and throwing dating into it just adds to the mix!

  4. I saw this at the bookstore awhile back and really wanted to get it. I decided to wait, but now I want to read it sooner than later.

    I love your take on dating -- so excited. I'm the opposite... I dread it! Haha!

  5. I'm intrigued by the premise of the story, but not so intrigued by that cover at all... yawn is right!

  6. I am gonna be totally honest about that cover too *big yawn* Nothing says read me about it

  7. You know, I read The Year of Yes and kept thinking that dating is to hard to push at that hard. Though, honestly at some point I have to admit they have a good idea. I have this one on audio and can't wait till it comes up in my rotation.

  8. Gee wish my book club would have picked THIS instead of our reliving the Wilder LHOTP memoir - which I am sure will be fine but this looks hellaza more fun.
    Reminds me of how I met my husband...

  9. that is incredibly gutsy! dating is so tough and being single and lonely is even harder...sounds like a great memoir! i too have been a non-fiction roll for awhile...and need to be posting my reviews rather than reading and reading and reading...


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