When I first read this “theme” for the 2015 Reading Challenge, I ultimately thought it would be a book that would be scary; maybe it would be a book that was a mystery, thriller or horror. But when I stumbled upon “How to Be Single” by Liz Tuccillo, the title alone gave me a fright. As a 29-year-old single woman living in Orange County, CA, I contemplated if there was a right way to be single. Is there something I should be doing instead? Should I be doing more of one thing and less of another? So, with my curiosity in full swing, I downloaded the book onto my Kindle; oh, how I wish I didn’t.
The narrative of “How to Be Single” follows the story of 5 women, who are in their late 30’s living in New York City, who just happen to be single. Julie, the main character, has decided that she is sick and tired of being single. With this new discovery of self, Julie decides to travel the world looking at various cultures and seeing how they view the lifestyle of being single. Julie travels from New York, then Paris, Rome, Rio, Sydney, Beijing, Mumbai, and then Reykjavik, interviewing and observing the various cultures and life style of single women in each country. Back home in the states, her 4 friends, Georgia, Alice, Serena and Ruby, continue to live their lives and overcome their own obstacles of being single in a 21st century world. Julie and her friends must come to face with their own singleness and find ways to make themselves happy in the end.
First off, this book was terrible! I bought it thinking that it would be a fun approach to looking at single cultures around the world, how different women see relationships and dating, but the book ultimately just made me angry. The characters are women I would never look up to or strive to become. They are not portrayed as beautiful, confident, strong women who are not defined by their relationship status, but are shown as women who will go to great lengths to change their relationship status. This ultimately makes them appear to be desperate, pathetic, and you, the reader, end up pitying them. The women have the mentality to you have to do whatever it takes to get out of being labeled as being “single”. Apparently the only way, according to this book, to get over being single is just to have a lot of sex – especially with men you shouldn’t be with sleeping with, or by having affairs with married men. How dismal and lowly this is! If I wanted to read a book about sex then I would have re-read 50 Shades of Grey, which looks like a Pulitzer Prize novel compared to this trash. The writing was poor, choppy, and lacked depth in any every way, shape and form. The author gives no hope to any woman or at least any single women reading this, so you may as well become a nun, or a whore because it is just not going to happen for you. This book makes me so frustrated! Instead of showing that life could be great, even when you are single, and showing all that one can accomplish, do and maintain. It instead shows that you may as well throw in the towel, because being single will be the death of you. You don’t get to be happy being single, Liz has ultimately shows that you need a man in your life to be happy, and that’s it, end of story. What a load of rubbish!!! Ugh… I don’t know about you but this worries me that women in fiction are soon to be portrayed as desperate creatures who need to get married in order to have a fulfilled life.
Am I single? Yes, I am. Am I throwing in the towel on love and marriage? No, I am not. Am I going to sit around, twiddling my thumbs or stopping everything to make sure I am not single anymore? NO! I have a full, lovely life as a single woman. I work, I blog, I travel, I love to hike, read, go camping, I am currently back in school getting my masters, I serve in my local church, and I have lots of friends, hobbies, and family who I love and adore to no end, and I am very happy. Do I sound like a pathetic single woman? I would hope not because I am not. I would love to find a man who I could share my life with, but it is the end all be all for me? No it’s not. I know I will find love someday, it may not be today or tomorrow or next week but someday. So single people of this world, for the love of all that is good and holy, DO NOT READ OR BUY THIS BOOK!!!! Not only will you hate the way single people are portrayed but how women are portrayed. Liz Tuccillo, your book sucks, I would like my time and money back. You make me angry with your lack of faith in women, and how you view your own sex. For shame!
Okay, my rant is over. Let me know how you are doing on your reading challenge! What have you been loving, or what you have been hating?
Buy it on Amazon: How to Be Single: A Novel