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49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
Always interested in what I can learn from the stories of others, I thought I would see if I could learn a little about making friends from Bertsche's story.

After relocating to Chicago to close the distance in her long-distance relationship, Rachel finds herself without the really close girl friends that she had in New York. Rather than waiting passively, she...
Published on November 20, 2011 by Amazon Customer

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142 of 157 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting concept, horrible execution
I don't usually write reviews on Amazon, but I feel so strongly duped by the amount of positive reviews that I'm wondering if the new friends the author made during her year long search are the ones who actually wrote the 4 and 5-star reviews. Tedious is an accurate description of the book, as another reviewer noted. And it's mind-numbingly so. The author ALREADY has 2...
Published on January 18, 2012 by KermitShorty


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142 of 157 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting concept, horrible execution, January 18, 2012
This review is from: MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend (Paperback)
I don't usually write reviews on Amazon, but I feel so strongly duped by the amount of positive reviews that I'm wondering if the new friends the author made during her year long search are the ones who actually wrote the 4 and 5-star reviews. Tedious is an accurate description of the book, as another reviewer noted. And it's mind-numbingly so. The author ALREADY has 2 best friends (not to mention 11 other good friends that were bridesmaid contenders), but they live out of town and she is determined to find a local one. She describes 52 "dates" she has with women in a way that comes off as juvenile and middle-school-ish, and her constant references to her summer camp confirms that this chick has a LOT of growing up to do. The straw that broke my back was her description of her yuppie home in a yuppie neighborhood and her acknowledgement that other would want to gawk at her lifestyle. The author has such a complete lack of insight, rarely mentions people that reject her or decline her "dates", and in her eyes is bubbly and funny at all times. I gave the book 2 stars because she few interspersed scientific tidbits about friendship were interesting, but awkwardly peppered throughout the book. This book reeks of "Julie and Julia" aspirations, but falls so flat and is way less charming and honest. If you're over the age of 25, it's very likely that you find the book (and the author) really annoying.
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78 of 88 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not easy to relate to the whiny rich-girl author, January 30, 2012
By 
Sita C Payne (Orange Park, FL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend (Paperback)
I picked this book up as an impulse buy. I was in Target, buying a birthday present for a 10 year old. I cut through their book department on my way to the toys in case anything jumped out at me. I immediately stopped when I saw the title. I never buy a book based on the title. I almost always have a hard recommendation from someone who knows my tastes, or reviews to bolster the credibility of an unknown. Either way, it's very atypical for me to impulse-buy a book.
A quick glance over the book tells me that the author, Rachel Bertsche is planning to go on one friend-date per week for the next year (52 dates) in a quest to find a new best friend in her new resident city of Chicago.
We just moved 6 months ago and I chose the book because I've been on my own quest to make a new BFF since losing my 2 "besties" through what Bertsche pinpoints as the at-risk age for female friendships: 25-40, the career building/baby-making years. Motherhood is isolating. I felt like I instantly related to her quest, since it was born out of her move to a new place, just like mine.
Sure, I have mom friends and I've made nice with my kids' friends' parents and I'm capable of meeting new people at a birthday party or social event. But, I don't have what Bertsche defines as a BFF. In the beginning of her journey, she states that she's looking for the "What are we doing today?" BFF, the "Let's get last minute lunch and pedicures BFF." A quick run-down of my friend list tells me that I am not close enough with any of them to call them with those last minute suggestions. And how accurate is that as a definition of what you want in a BFF anyway?
So, despite my own life situation, being a recent transplant and a mom, what did I think of the book? Well, my life situation has everything to do with how I feel about the book. I'm trying to glean hints from this book that I can apply in my own life. What is my take-away from this book? How can I apply what she has learned? How can I go on my own quest to find a new BFF?
My main criticism of the book is that it's not as relatable as I would have expected. It started out strong. I love the research she cites throughout the book. I learned about the British anthropologist that created the theory of how many relationships one can maintain (based on brain size). Spoiler alert: it's 150 for humans. I learned a lot about the stigma of looking for friendships and loneliness, as well as startling statistics about how social support can extend your life.
But that's where the interest stopped and I lost touch with her. Everyone wants to relate. In a book like this, I should have been yelling, "Yes! This is ME!" and I found myself musing, "Hmm, this is the rich-girl version of ME!"
I think Bertsche has narrowed her audience by emphasizing her social status a little too much. She claims to be upper middle class. She's from New York, she's Jewish, she went to a great college and is married to a lawyer. Does any of the sounds familiar or relatable? Maybe so, let's keep going. I'll also mention here that she worked for Oprah's Magazine, O, and has interviewed celebrities like Vince Vaughn. Still feel that that is totally YOU? She talks about eating out, joining classes and signing up for "friend-dating" websites - all of which require money, and plenty of it when you are going on as many as 5 friend-dates as she did each week (because she goes on follow up dates with many of the women she meets). She emphasizes how she made friends in her childhood and has a few reunions throughout the book. Bertsche reveals that she visited Tripp Lake Camp every year for her whole summer from the time she was 8, and that was the kicker for me. That was when I really stopped relating. Forbes published an article in 2010 called "America's Priciest Summer Camps: Where the Wealthy Send their children for the summer." Guess which camp was in the Top 10? With a price tag of $10,400 per summer, you got it, Tripp Lake Camp. So while her parents were sending her to camp to the tune of $100,000 throughout her childhood, I'm living the life of the actual middle-class and have completely stopped relating to the author at this point.
The basis of her idea is good, but the delivery falls short when the scope of relatable readers is narrowed so far. I think women should make a better effort with each other, and approach one another, take the jump, and make a new friend. I like the idea of expanding my social circle to find a few more "lifers" that live nearby. But all in all I left the book feeling lukewarm.
My final criticism is that I felt the ending was anti-climactic. It was quite a buildup throughout the book. There were times when I was cheering her on, hoping she could meet the "TV-loving, pop culture fan" she so desperately sought to be her match. Who ended up as the BFF in the end? Spoiler alert: No one. How's that for disappointment?
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49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, November 20, 2011
This review is from: MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend (Paperback)
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Always interested in what I can learn from the stories of others, I thought I would see if I could learn a little about making friends from Bertsche's story.

After relocating to Chicago to close the distance in her long-distance relationship, Rachel finds herself without the really close girl friends that she had in New York. Rather than waiting passively, she sets out on a yearlong quest to find a new BFF (or a few). Along the way she learns a lot about herself and about friendship. Her goal is 52 dates with different potential BFF's. Initially they are ladies that she is introduced to by mutual friends, but as the year progresses she gets bolder and tries a variety of interesting things to meet new friends, from friendship matchmaking to Rent-a-friends, to getting bold enough to ask out her waitress at dinner. Along the way we are introduced to a varied cast of characters, making it quite necessary for Rachel to include a Glossary of Characters for the reader to reference. I was thankful for this list a few times.

Having found myself in that same "bubble" that Rachel describes where your husband becomes your primary outlet, I realize how important it is to have friends outside of our marriage. Being in my thirties, I also realize just how hard it is to make new friends once you get past a certain age. This book inspired me to make more of an effort with those around me. It also reminded me of something that I have found to be true, that you are never the only one feeling lost or unsure. For every moment that I might want to go up to someone, it is just as likely that they are wishing someone would talk to them. This book is a great reminder to get outside of our own little bubbles and take a step into something new.

Whether you are looking for ideas on how to make friends, or just looking for a great story you can relate to, you'll find it in "MWF Seeking BFF".
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47 of 59 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Married WHINY Female Seeing BFF, December 15, 2011
By 
Lois Lain (San Francisco Bay Area, CA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend (Paperback)
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I picked up this book with high hopes. Having recently relocated across the country due to my husband's job and in search of some new friends, I thought I might be able to relate to Rachel Bertsche.

After reading a chapter or two, I hope we are NOTHING alike.

Rachel is self-centered (she says her mom moved to Chicago to be near her... and then only 100 pages later reveals that, oh yeah, her aunt lives there too...), judgmental (bemoans the fact that her hip intern at her office doesn't seem interested in her married life, but a page later starts dissing on suburban moms and cookie exchange parties), and whiny. She goes on and on and ON about how much she wants a BFF but seems to do little to BE a friend rather than ACQUIRE a friend.

I was blown away when she actually said, "...the unfortunate timing of my father-in-law's lost battle to pancreatic cancer two weeks after my wedding..." WHAT? It would have been more convenient for YOU if he'd waited a few more weeks? MY LORD this woman needs a reality check.

When she set up the meeting with a University of Chicago professor and psychologist to discuss friend-making, I finally saw the light: She wasn't looking for a BFF, she was looking for a book deal.

Well, she got one. And her writing is excellent. It's just the content that leaves me slightly ill.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yawn, January 7, 2012
This review is from: MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend (Paperback)
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I had high hopes for this book. I loved the concept - Married, sassy, adult woman, on the hunt for a lasting and enduring friendship.I totally get that. I especially agreed that husbands a best friend do not make. Granted, they are there for companionship but I don't want to get mani/pedis with my man. I don't even want to watch a chick flick with my husband.

Unfortunately, MWF took too long to get to the good parts. I gave up after the seventh "date". I figured, she either found a BFF or didn't, but I no longer cared to find out.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Interesting concept but annoying and poor writing, December 26, 2012
This review is from: MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend (Paperback)
When I first saw the title of this book I was instantly intrigued. I have actually thought of seeking out new acquaintances this way, but only in passing.

After the first couple of chapters, I wondered aloud whether I could bear to finish the book. My main irritation is the author's continual overuse of pop culture references. Page after page, she references scenes from T.V. shows. It's so excessive that it becomes almost unbearable and the main reason I felt I couldn't continue reading the book, although I did manage to finish it. On one page (probably more) there were actually two references withing a few paragraphs. Give it a rest! I felt like I was reading Entertainment Weekly and not a novel. Didn't the author have a competent editor that might have pointed this out to her or didn't she care? If you don't understand the references or never saw the show, you completely miss the point the author tries to make. Hence, no communication is happening. It's just the author sitting around reminiscing with herself about her favorite shows. If you're going to use a reference to another work in order to paint a scene or set up a simile, you need to use references that are more universal. And in a few years, someone reading this novel will need to head to an entertainment site to research the shows she's referencing since they'll have become part of television history. I found myself skipping over these references at times or shrugging or shouting out loud in exasperation when I came across such passages.

Something else that bothered me constantly was the fact that the author was a newlywed when she conducted her friend search. A newlywed in her first year of marriage! She is gone in the evenings and weekends, trying to find another person to be her friend, while her new husband is left home alone or is shuffled to her Mother's apartment so that the author can have a bunch of girls over for dinner, drinks and chatting. I can't imagine what type of spouse would put up with this. You've just gotten married and your priority is to go out on dozens of dates with women to find friends? I completely don't get it to the point that I can't even accurately explain my exasperation. The author has already admitted early in the book that she has a bunch of friends and several long-time best friends, so the urgency is a little strange.

One thing the author does succeed in, I think, is accurately describing herself and her personality and background. Unfortunately, this isn't a good thing because I find her to be self-centered, whiny at times, and possessing enough irritating qualities that I found myself cringing at the thought of spending any time around her.

Many of the "dates" that the author goes on do not work out, either from the very start of the date, or subsequently. What I found curious is that the author attributes the failure to connect with these women as more a problem with the other person than herself. Some of her assessments come across as extremely negative of the other person. It's only much later in the novel when she actually confesses to some bad habits of her own when interacting with others. It made me wonder whether some of the dates that didn't go well weren't because the other person found her an undesirable person. We'll never know as we don't have the feedback from these other people.

What could have been a very interesting premise ended up being a semi-interesting story told in an irritating writing style by a not-so-captivating and immature story teller.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If you are 12, this book might be interesting you..., December 3, 2012
This review is from: MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend (Paperback)
I'm giving this book one star, because I can't even get past Chapter 2. Granted, I'm in my mid to late 30s, but I sincerely doubt that I was like this in my 20s (I hope not). The author comes across as extremely immature: she wants somebody to do every little thing with. Watch Project Runway every week, go out to brunch every Saturday, get mani/pedis, etc. etc. I could not get over her expectations--part of being an adult is learning how to do activities on your own.

The second key trait of the book I could not stomach was the self-centeredness. If somebody invited her to something, she found reasons to think it was weird. If she wasn't invited, she felt left out. Every action the other person made was all about her. Again, signs of great immaturity.

Since I didn't and won't read the whole book, I will leave her some area where she could have potentially redeemed herself, but I doubt it. And if she reads this, sorry it's so harsh, but I sincerely hope she has taken a good look in the mirror at her shallow antics. I mean, go volunteer or do some activities and see if you can make friendships based on mutual respect, rather than this pseudo-dating game.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the wait, May 3, 2012
This review is from: MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend (Paperback)
When I first heard about this book, I thought the concept sounded exactly like something I would want to read. I immediately put it on my waitlist at the library. When it finally came in, I anxiously started reading it. To my dismay, it didn't come close to meeting my expectations. I enjoyed the author's writing style, and her sense of humor made me chuckle in a few places, but I just couldn't relate to her and her quest. Like many people in today's busy and constantly changing world, I struggle to keep and retain friendships. I was hoping to read about someone who was experiencing the same problems and how they were able to overcome them. Instead, I end up reading about a person who clearly has no trouble making friends, already has many people she calls best friends, and had several social circles already in place even before she started her quest. I bet many of those ladies in those social circles considered her a good or best friend, even if she didn't feel the same way about them. Instead of progressing, this book just continued to churn out the same information page after page - a boring recap of each date, intermixed with some research. I rarely stop reading a book, and have stuck out many to the bitter end. However, with this one, it got to the point where I really didn't care what happened to Rachel and her quest, so I finally stopped reading it about 2/3 of the way through. I didn't even turn to the end to find out what happened. I just didn't care anymore. With so many other good reads out there, I wouldn't waste your time with this one.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I was so bored that I couldn't even finish the book!, March 5, 2012
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This review is from: MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend (Paperback)
This is the first book that I have ever read that I just couldn't finish due to boredom. I got through the 4th Chapter and then finally just went to the end to see how it ended. I thought this book would be sharing funny stories about meeting potential friends. Instead, just as the "girl-date" was starting to happen, the details would get lost and then you would start reading about the psychology about friendships. I felt like I was reading a text book. I can understand how people say that the author is very self-absorbed and judgemental. I was overall disapointed with this book because in my mind, it was going to be a lot more fun to read. I feel like I wasted my money on this book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This would be great as an article..., February 19, 2012
This review is from: MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend (Paperback)
I could see this being a great article, but it is too boring and repetitive to be a book. There seems to be a lot of unnecessary filler and it is lacking in substantial research.. Stating "researchers say" or "alot of studies show" is not an acceptable way to present facts or statistics.
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MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend
MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche (Paperback - December 20, 2011)
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