Travis_J_Smith’s #CBR5 Review #167: I Suck at Girls by Justin Halpern

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Take two after an accidental key press wiped out my review seconds after I’d finished it. As I was saying the first time, Justin Halpern isn’t halfway near as fun as he seems to think he is. He’ll forever be riding the coattails of his father, whose popularity this book helped me understand.

Though when he stops the funny guy act and gets real, talking about the love of his life Amanda, it’s like he’s a different writer altogether. This is a guy I can relate to and enjoy spending the duration of a book with. He’s like me, but a slightly newer and better model.

If he can find a girl like Amanda, who’s to say I can’t as well? I’ve been down on the chances of me ever finding someone as of late, so I Suck at Girls gave me the hope I so desperately needed. I just wish there was more of that and less of Halpern’s unsuccessful stabs at comedy. Leave that to your father, Halpern.

iamnothamlet’s #CBR5 Review #53: I Suck at Girls by Justin Halpern

In my review of Sh*t My Dad Says I talked about how Justin Halpern’s writing wasn’t all that interesting, but that the character of his dad Sam made the book a worthwhile read. I downloaded Halpern’s second effort to my Kindle because it was also just $1.99, and I hoped for more of the same. Unfortunately, I Suck at Girls is much more focused on the author’s life and thoughts, and he just isn’t compelling enough to sustain a book-length narrative.

Justin Halpern was a bit of a late bloomer when it came to the opposite sex, and this book chronicles his misadventures along the path to a happy marriage. Starting with an early crush derailed by an unfortunate illustration and working through such rites of passage as the introduction to pornography, the Senior Prom, losing his virginity, one night stands, and long-distance relationships, I Suck at Girls is a fairly tame account of one man’s romantic history. The oddest part of the exercise is that Halpern seems to think his stories are extremely unusual, whereas I’m sure most people have similarly embarrassing escapades to recount.

As in the earlier book, Mr. Halpern most loses his way when struggling to use descriptive language to emphasize his point. This guy couldn’t come up with an arresting simile to save his life.

Even for less than two dollars, this book isn’t worth the price.

iamnothamlet’s #CBR5 Review #51: Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern

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Justin Halpern takes a lot of sh*t from people about the short-lived television show based on this book and the Twitter feed that precipitated it. I guess a lot of it comes from the fact that people can’t believe a guy could start a simple Twitter feed and wind up with a #1 bestseller and a TV deal. None of that, however, should take away from the fact this book is pretty funny.

Well-written, well, maybe not. Halpern often goes to great lengths to think up new similes, none of which are really worth the effort and too many of them involve better than general knowledge of professional sports. But if nothing else, the younger Halpern has done a great service by being his father’s Boswell. The cantankerous, foul-mouthed Sam Halpern is a marvelous character, dispensing unusual but practical advice for the betterment of his son.

This is obviously a breezy read, one that can be gotten through in a sitting if properly motivated. It was $1.99 on Kindle so I decided it was worth the small amount of time it took. For that little investment, getting to meet Sam Halpern was easily worth it.