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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass


Monday, June 28, 2010

Review: Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto

Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto by Eric Luper
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pub. Date: June 1st, 2010
Pages: 293
Age Level: 14+


Synopsis via Goodreads
Seth Baumgartner just had the worst day of his life: His girlfriend dumped him (at Applebee’s), he spied his father on a date with a woman who is not his mother (also at Applebee’s!), and he lost his fourth job of the year. It’s like every relationship he cares about is imploding, and he can’t figure out what’s going on.

To find answers, Seth decides to start an anonymous podcast called The Love Manifesto, exploring “what love is, why love is, and why we’re stupid enough to keep going back for more.” Things start looking up when Seth gets a job at a golf club with his hilarious and smut-minded best friend, Dimitri, and Dimitri’s sister, Audrey. With their help, Seth tracks down his father’s mystery date, hits the most infamous bogey in the history of golf, and discovers that sometimes love means eating the worst chicken-salad sandwich you can ever imagine.


Review
When I received this book in the mail for review, I'll confess, I didn't really have any expectations for it. However I was attracted to the cover, drawn in by the title, and intrigued by the premise so I figured, What the heck, I'll give it a shot. Also, this is only about the third book I've read that's been written by and about a guy in the past few years. So yeah, I wasn't really sure what to expect. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised to find Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto to be an honest, heartfelt, and humorous read; a winning combination all around in my book. No pun intended.

Seth is a lovable, well-rounded character that I immediately connected with and warmed to. His emotions were real and true, not feeling the least bit forced, exaggerated, or down-played. His ex, Veronica, well pardon my french but she's a real b*tch. Seriously, I did not like her one bit; of course this is a good thing as it would be pretty messed up if I did. I mean, she broke poor Seth's heart for crying out loud. Dimitri, the best friend, was a stark contrast to Seth but yet the pairing worked. He was annoying at times but he could also be amusing. Audrey, Dimitri's sister, was a sassy addition to the characters but I would have liked to have seen her more. As for the father, he really grated on my nerves and Luz really spiced things up.

Now, can I just say thank you Eric Luper for giving Seth parents! Yes I think you all know what I mean by this. I often find myself wondering whatever happened to the parents when reading YA books; they always seem to be either workaholics, uninterested in their kids, a single parent, or just fell off the face of the Earth. I'm glad to see Luper has included such a strong family element to coincide with the friendship and relationship elements. Luper also did a marvelous job of intertwining these elements to create such a refreshing and enjoyable read. Something else I loved about this book were the sections from Seth's podcast, The Love Manifesto, and the inclusion of what songs he was choosing to play. It really helped set the mood. The writing was also smooth and very well done.

Onto the ending, I think part of me suspected what was coming but I was still surprised by it. At first I feared that all the loose ends wouldn't be tied up but then they were. The ending, though feeling slightly rushed, was appropriate and I personally liked it overall.

Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto is the clever, fast-paced, and utterly satisfying ride into the life of a teen boy searching for the meaning of love. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it to both guys and girls alike; I believe that this is a story both genders could relate to and find purpose in. Luper did a wonderful job crafting this novel and I look forward to reading more of his work in future.

Grade
Characters: A-
Writing: B
Plot: A
Ending: B+
Enjoyment/Likability: A-
Recommendable: A-

Overall: A-
Cover: A



3 comments:

pirate penguin said...

Your review is every bit as awesome as mine is, Bri. :)

I wanted to get this one at BEA but it was available for only one day...and I didn't go that day. *sniffles* Thank goodness for libraries-my list for borrowing books from mine is growing longer and longer... but this is a good thing ;)

Kim said...

Frankly, I never really heard of this book until you mentioned it a couple of times on Twitter. Even then, I didn't really feel compelled to read it, but your review sold me! Like Sandy here ^ I will be looking for this in my library...hopefully...xD

Gotta love those type of endings!

Jane said...

This book is intriguing to me in every possible way. I really like your review of it... I'll definitely be checking this one out!

Jane
janestoryblog.blogspot.com

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Georgia, United States
Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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