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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Love an American Man: A True Story
One of the most enjoyable reads in a long time. Krissy Gasbarre takes pen and paper and makes you feel a part of her world. Refreshing insight into the mind of a member of the older generation and proof that love and respect still exist in families.
Published on November 2, 2011 by Dawn

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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars really not worth the read
I had to read this book for book club and I have to say it is definitely not worth your time. While the language itself was lovely, the overall message and theme was immature and not very well conceived. I kept hoping it would get better but it never did. It was way longer than it needed to be and repeated the same issue over and over again. You wanted to bang your head...
Published on September 18, 2011 by ltc


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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars really not worth the read, September 18, 2011
I had to read this book for book club and I have to say it is definitely not worth your time. While the language itself was lovely, the overall message and theme was immature and not very well conceived. I kept hoping it would get better but it never did. It was way longer than it needed to be and repeated the same issue over and over again. You wanted to bang your head against the wall after she KEPT pointing out her heart ache, then in case you didn't get the memo she actually wrote something along the lines of "I had a broken heart." I found the allusions and references in the novel very sophomoric.

Also, the connection she was trying to make of her grandmother grieving over her grandfather's death comparable to her break up was unfathomable and self absorbed. There was no real crescendo or movement in the book- it was like one long magazine article from Cosmo. The best way I can describe the book is a glorified "what I did last summer" essay mixed with a self help book, written by someone without expertise.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A serious case of MSD - Misleading Synopsis/Description., September 3, 2012
This review is from: How to Love an American Man: A True Story (Paperback)
Here's the problem I found with this book: the description/synopsis makes it sound AWESOME! And then you get into it, and you realize, it's not awesome.

Before I get into the bad about this book, I do want to say that Kristine's writing in the beginning was great. The first 30 pages were hard for me to read because they were so emotional. Kristine did a great job there. But after those first 30 pages...

It's supposed to be about the lessons Kristine learns from her grandmother, right? And about her own grandparents' love and their relationship and how it developed. So I was expecting details. Less of "Grandma explained to me why they loved each other." I would have really liked to read actual stories - the Grandma's dialogue was almost nonexistent in this book.

That was another one of my issues. There's very little dialogue. It's mostly Kristine explaining what happened or what was going on, and in the end it came off like I read a summary about a book instead of a book. She learns all of one lesson from her grandma, and it is repeated over and over again throughout the book to the point where it gets really annoying. And it's nothing new or groundbreaking (but I won't review that part since it could be considered a spoiler.)

I did not think Kristine's relationship with her grandma was super heartwarming. Sure, she drives her grandma around and takes her to lunch. But she appears to be annoyed about it the entire time. At some points she appears to treat her grandma like an inconvenience.

I also thought Kristine's relationships with Chris and with Tucker were total crap. Her fling with Tucker seemed gross and unreal to me from the beginning - I didn't understand the attraction there at all. And Chris was a real...jerk. I mean seriously. If a guy treated me like he treated Kristine, I'd have been out of there in a heartbeat. Sure, you have to make allowances for people, but after the 15th date cancellation/bail and the weird avoiding-y stuff, I'd have been done. Kristine's obsession with him was weird. Her family encouraging her to date this weird, selfish, creepy guy was even weirder. Is it love? No, probably not.

In the end, nobody finds love. There are no stories, just summaries. There is no resolution, just questions. And apparently the reason for this is that there is going to be a sequel? For heaven's sake, why? If you can't write about it in one book, it doesn't need to be written at all.

PS: Allegedly, the author has had her friends and family review the book positively to raise her percentages or stack the reviews or something. I have also heard that if a reviewer gives this book a negative review, she will complain about it and an army of her pals will come attack you in the night. This may not be true, but I have heard it from more than one source, so it's worth mentioning. Authors Behaving Badly is serious business and readers need to be aware of it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Love an American Man: A True Story, November 2, 2011
This review is from: How to Love an American Man: A True Story (Paperback)
One of the most enjoyable reads in a long time. Krissy Gasbarre takes pen and paper and makes you feel a part of her world. Refreshing insight into the mind of a member of the older generation and proof that love and respect still exist in families.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Love an American Man, November 2, 2011
This review is from: How to Love an American Man: A True Story (Paperback)
I loved this book! A must read for all women especially. Not only is it filled with wonderful advice, it also has a great story. I couldn't wait to see how it ended. Trust me- you will love this book!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How to be an American doormat, March 20, 2012
This review is from: How to Love an American Man: A True Story (Paperback)
I found this book to be, as other reviewers have stated, extremely sophomoric and self absorbed. I found myself repeatedly cringing when reading about the way this dreamy doctor behaved and treated the author not to mention the way she justified it and went back for more. To me, tone of this relationship came across as oppressively chauvinistic, condescending and diminishing. No woman should let a man treat her this way, American or otherwise. Disappointing!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it but..., September 16, 2011
By 
Katana Rogue (Studio City, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How to Love an American Man: A True Story (Paperback)
This book had great reviews and successfully seemed to convey there was some new information to be had from our older generation. This is definitely more of memoir piece than "How to Get a Guy" type book. I zoomed through it, wondering "Does she get the guy?" Most of the time I found myself annoyed and frustrated with the author's approach of circling this super passive guy like a vulture for years until he finally makes a move. UGH!

While I think it's wonderful and delightful to know how to love yourself, make a life for yourself, and love truly and honestly (not just for "What's in it for me?") but on the same note, advice from the lovely Grandma seems to be: let the guy off the hook, let him be the chase-e instead of the chaser, do everything in your power to love and support him but expect nothing in return (which seems like for the most part, what she got -- unless you count the offer of letting her use his car while he's away). Befriending a great white shark would be easier than landing a man like the Doc.

Does my annoyed response to its content make this a bad book? Absolutely not. The writing is fresh, the story involving and thoughtful. Maybe your experiences with men and life will allow you to respond differently. :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing thoughts on love & family, August 29, 2011
This review is from: How to Love an American Man: A True Story (Paperback)
Kristine Gasbarre writes a refreshing memoir about love with help from her charming Grandmother Glo, who has just lost her husband. Kristine's own dating life has left her teary and frustrated, which gives her a chance to see her grandparent's relationship with new eyes. She listens when her Grandma talks about the kind of woman a strong man needs, and how her own marriage required courage and patience.

The image Grandma Glo creates is seductively vintage: discreet, feminine women and dapper, strong men.

Kristine takes all her Grandma's words to heart, while trying to reconcile them with her modern life. And with the mysterious doctor she dated, then worked for, but who is building a practice in Asia.

How to Love an American Man is a charming, wise read that appealed to me, because my Grandmother and Great Aunt were the delicate, feminine wives of dashing men, so I could immediately relate. I could also relate to Kristine's struggle to reconcile that world with the modern world of dating.

I absolutely adored & highly recommend. And, I have fingers crossed for a sequel!

In retrospect, this book reminds me of Laura Munson's memoir This is Not the Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness. Just thought I'd add that in, if you want to see how courage & patience might play out in a marriage.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick fantastic read, August 25, 2011
This review is from: How to Love an American Man: A True Story (Paperback)
I read this book in one day. It is a quick read that is witty and so enjoyable! At the end of the story I wanted to immediately hand it off to another girlfriend so she could enjoy the insights into loving yourself as well as loving a man. It also made me want to spend time with my Grandparents as so often we forget what a wealth of experience, information, and help they can be to the younger generations!
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than Eat, Pray, Love, August 16, 2011
This review is from: How to Love an American Man: A True Story (Paperback)
Gasbarre moved back home to DuBois, Pennsylvania following the death of her beloved grandfather, the head of her loving family. She was a little lost, professionally and personally. The man she loved moved to Bahrain, and she was losing interest in her job as a nanny in Italy.

When Grandpa dies, he left behind a bereft wife. Krissy always admired her grandparents' marriage, and now she had the opportunity to spend time with Grandma and ask her how she and Grandpa made their marriage work. Could Grandma give her advice that she could use?

One thing that Grandma tells her is "if you are really concerned with finding somebody to love then I am telling you that you have to stop focusing on yourself." When Krissy can't believe that her grandma is telling her to put aside her needs for a man, Grandma responds "if you love someone, that's what you do. It comes naturally."

Grandma goes on,
"A friend, Krissy. A man needs someone who supports his work. Someone who hugs him and means it when he walks in the door at night. You want to be with a really good man? You have to have courage. And patience. Lots of patience."

Grandma's advice borne of years of practice is compelling. Her husband was a successful, charismatic, hardworking, business owner, and it wasn't always easy being married to him. Krissy listened to her grandma's advice and stories and tried to process it. Is this advice still relevant in today's world?

Krissy was set-up on a date with a highly eligible oral and facial surgeon, Chris. Chris was handsome, smart and building his practice. Their first date did not go well, and Krissy next ended up dating Tucker, a college student six years her junior.

Her relationship with Tucker had its ups and downs, and after a disastrous weekend fishing trip that Gasbarre describes in brutally honest detail, ends badly. I can't imagine there is a woman out there who can't relate to that section of the book.

Gasbarre is also honest about her grandma. She is a bit of prickly woman, and I'm glad that Gasbarre resisted the temptation to portray her grandma as a sainted lady. She often tried the patience of her children and Krissy.

The life of a widow is tough, and Gasbarre does a masterful job in her description of it. I really felt the ache of Grandma's loneliness, and it is a feeling that many of us who have long, happy marriages will sadly have to face at some point in our lives. The scenes where Krissy and her grandma are the only single ladies in a group of marrieds at parties and family gatherings touches on the loneliness that people can feel lost in a crowd.

Gasbarre's writing is wonderful and heartfelt; she chooses the perfect phrase and words, and she balances Grandma's life and advice with her own journey to find her place in the world. The titles of the chapters are Grandma's words of advice- "Know When To Say I Love You" "Support His Work" "Get Your Own Life Settled".

If I have any criticism, it is that Gasbarre compares her feelings about her troubled relationships with her grandma's loneliness at losing her husband. I don't think you can compare the loss of a husband of sixty years with the loss of relationship of a few months; there is no comparison. Someday she will realize that.

How to Love an American Man has been compared to Eat, Pray, Love, but I find this to be a stronger book. Telling Grandma's story alongside Krissy's search for a loving relationship really touched my heart, and makes it less self-centered, as has been the (justified) knock against Eat, Pray, Love.

This book will appeal to many women- those who have love and lost, as well as those looking for lasting love.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected, in a good way, August 25, 2011
This review is from: How to Love an American Man: A True Story (Paperback)
When I started this book I was expecting to read about the authors experiences dating and how she found the man of her dreams. A love story of sorts. What I found was so much better. Gasbarre spends the time exploring a myriad of relationships. The most important one is the one she has with herself.

One of the reasons that I really enjoyed How to Love an American Man is because Kristine spends a great deal of time with her Grandmother after her favorite Grandfather passes away. She listens to family stories, learns secret family recipes and learns a bit about herself in the process.

How to Love and American Man serves as a reminder to appreciate our older family members while we have them. They have learned many things throughout their lifetimes and have many valuable tidbits to share. While there is still a love story to be told, it isn't the one you expect in the beginning.
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How to Love an American Man: A True Story
How to Love an American Man: A True Story by Kristine Gasbarre (Paperback - August 16, 2011)
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