Customer Reviews: I Suck at Girls
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on September 3, 2012
"I Suck at Girls" irritated me some, and I am not all that sure why. The book just did not do all that much for me, and although it is a quick and easy read, I was ready for it to be done. A 180 page book of humor should not make the reader feel that way.
Justin Halpern's tales of romance and sex don't have the ring of truth to them that so many of his stories in his first book, "S*@! My Dad Says", seemed to have. I put the book down wondering just how much of it was made up. I also could not shake my suspicions that Justin is a dope, and I get that this is one of his points. However, I did not feel like he was a dope that you would root for.
The most entertaining and worthwhile parts of the text are the moments where Justin's father takes center stage, and there were far too few of them for me to thoroughly engage in the book. Perhaps this premise has now been stretched too thin for the material that exists and Mr. Halpern needs to try something else. I don't know.
For what it is "I Suck at Girls" is an okay read. I was just expecting more. Halpern's observations about romance, love, bad sex, etc. have nothing new or interesting to say, and I guess I was hoping that they would.
I don't regret reading this book, but I am also glad that it only consumed a couple of hours of my time.
Take that for what you will.
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Warning: before you pick up Justin Halpern's I Suck at Girls to read for the first time, be sure to set your coffee down. Failure to do so may result in some spilled beverage all over the book pages or your Kindle.

You know, it really hurts when hot coffee spurts out your nose...

Without dropping any spoilers, the author dedicates his newest book to Amanda, and it quickly becomes clear in the first chapter that she was his focus. Early on we find that he has decided to propose to her, so he goes to that one particular person who he knows will tell him, direct and to the point, what he thinks: his dad, Sam. Amanda wants to talk to him, and Justin isn't sure what to do. He wants his dad to shoot straight with him, though his father has a frequent habit of going slightly off topic, as found in this sage advice:

"Human beings do dumb s__t. You do dumb s__t. She does dumb s__t. Everyone does dumb s__t. Then, every once in a while, we have a moment where we don't do dumb s__t, and then we throw a goddamned parade and we forget all the dumb s__t we did. So what I'm saying to you is, don't do something, or not do something, to punish someone because you think they did something dumb. Do what you want to do, because it's what you want to do. Also, bring me a grapefruit from the kitchen and some salt and pepper."

First time readers may be jolted with the frequently profane dialogue issued forth by Justin's eloquent father, who has his own way of expressing himself. Readers of Halpern's earlier book, S__t My Dad Says, will not find this surprising in the least. And fans of this earlier work will not be disappointed with Justin's odyssey.

Unsurprisingly, his father doesn't mince words in the least, and this book is a collection of some of those lessons learned in his quest to learn better in his dealings with the females of the species. And some of these are personal reflections, such as this:

"Eventually, though, I came to the conclusion that I was the male equivalent of a Toyota Camry. You know: No one ever says, `I have to have a Toyota Camry.' But most people who spend some time in a Camry start to like it. `It's pretty reliable,' they think. `It doesn't have a lot of problems, and it's not bad to look at. You know what? I'd probably prefer a nicer car. But I can live with a Camry.'"

Like many, this reader first became aware of the frequently expletive-laden comments issued by Justin's expressive father from his Twitter feed a few years ago. The author had been recording his father's voluble gems there, and in a little over a year he had over two million following those irreverent, other hilarious and sometimes thought-provoking words of his father. This of course resulted in his first book, published in 2010, which hit the New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover nonfiction, enduring at #1 for eleven weeks. It stayed on the bestseller list for almost a year.

This book is filled with similar moments to Halpern's first one, and the descriptions of some of his adventures left me laughing openly. Again no spoilers, but look for the chapter in which he describes in finding a stash of hidden adult magazines, grabbing them and being pursued by "two bearded homeless men, each of whom looked like Nick Nolte rendered in beef jerky." That description was enough to get me laughing, but the narrative of what follows with his father is even better, and it did provoke even more open laughter.

His encounter with Sarah, with the accompaniment of a rented copy of "A Few Good Men" is a classic. It's one that many males can reflectively empathize with, and that chapter alone is worth the price of this book.

The language found in both of Halpern's books might be distasteful to some readers, but in this one there's some real heart in the advice that Justin's father offers his son. It may not be the type of obscenities that many of us would interject our own advice to our kids, but this parent can say that upon occasion I thought of some of them.

As his dad says: "Any idiot can get lucky once. Takes a special idiot to get lucky twice."

There is wisdom in that parental admonition, and that's what makes this 5-star read so good. See for yourself - you won't be disappointed.

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on May 17, 2012
I've actually been reading Halpern's stuff from back in his web days. His gift for humor was pretty evident even if he wasn't stretching narratively. Between this book and ____ My Dad Says it's great to see him expand into more of a story-teller, as it's clear he excels at it.
In I Suck at Girls, Halpern moves the focus from his dad to himself (don't worry, you'll still get to hear his dad's opinions on girls and life in general) and discusses his hits and misses when it comes to women. Halpern has an easy, honest style that's pretty easy to tear through (in fact, if I had one complaint it's that book is a bit short).
Definitely check this one out if you liked ____ My Dad Says, or just find some excerpts online and you'll know pretty quickly whether or not it's for you (it probably will be).
Also be sure to check Halpern out on podcast or in person. He's hilarious off-the-cuff.
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on May 23, 2012
I was leery about picking this book up after reading a bland review in the paper. After perusing the book at the mall I decided to take the plunge. Jimmy Kimmel is right! The book is hilarious. I've read most of it before bed and find that it's a perfect light read to end the day. If you read Matt Sedensky's article like I did, disregard it. A guy who's busy tweeting "Elephant at National Zoo in DC plays harmonica with its trunk" probably has an axe to grind.
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on June 11, 2012
I shot through this book in an evening. Despite, a lot of the hype and 5-star reviews, I can't saw I was as excited by this book.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad book at all. It's not an out-of-this-world-great book either. I found it a bit short and a bit so-so.

The situations Justin ends up with women is something that most of us (males) can relate to at some-or-other stage in our lives. Cringeworthy, at best. I think that the majority of the humour in the book comes from his Dad. It might make me purchase his first book.

But, if you want a bit of light-hearted and good entertainment for around the price of a movie ticket (I think the book is a bit pricey, though) and a few good giggles along the way, then give this a whirl. It's fun, it's light and it may even bring back a few memories.
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on May 31, 2012
Definitely recommend this book. The chapter on what a future wife will see had me laughing until I cried so hard couldn't read anymore. I think the reason I keep coming back to this author is that the humor is funny and crude, funny in its crudeness, but also kind. Every story has a moral about how to treat people better. If only we all had a Sam. We don't, but we do have this as a handy refererence. Sam's wisdom on porn: "Son, you're never going to sleep with a girl who looks like that." Words to live by.
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on May 23, 2012
I Suck at Girls is the second book written by Halpern. I thoroughly enjoyed the first one and was excited to learn of this book. I read it in a day and a half and laughed out loud almost every page. Not just a chuckle, either. A real belly laugh. In fact, when I read parts of the book store, someone asked me what I was laughing at. I read aloud a few experts, and that guy picked up a book and bought it as well. Halpern has a unique voice and his writing is very relatable. It was a nice change reading about puberty through the eyes of a boy with a hilarious, call it like you see it, father. Up until this point, the only coming of age stories I have read have been about girls.

Looking forward to the next book!
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on June 1, 2013
I'm sorry to say this, but "I Suck at Girls" is a utter failure with no redeeming qualities. Justin Halpern's previous book ""S*** My Dad Says" was entertaining and fun. It introduced us to a man who gave voice in a colorful, profane manner to practically any thought that occurred to him with no self-censorship, hidden agendas, or manipulation, but deep love for his son. As other reviewers have observed, this new book looks like an unadorned attempt to capitalize on the success of its hugely successful predecessor. Unfortunately, it is bereft of charm or humor, with the possible exception of when Justin's Dad makes a rare appearance. The author/main character claims to aspire to a career in writing but, alas, has shown no gift for making characters come alive or for telling stories that engage or delight readers. He may need to re-think his career plan. I understand why market considerations drive creators of successful books or movies to promote follow-ups, but the cynicism of this effort has resulted in legions of readers, myself very much among them, who are justifiably left feeling ripped off and pissed off.
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on May 20, 2012
But I just read this on a plane and actually I think I was annoying the guy next to me because he was trying to sleep and I burst into inappropriately loud laughter probably 10 or 15 times. Halpern's dialogue and descriptions and one-liners catch you off-guard and are hilarious. It's also so fresh and memorable -- there are some scenes in the book that are going to stay with me for a long, long time. I highly recommend it!
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on March 8, 2016
This book got my attention at a local bookstore. I started reading it and, before I knew it, I had already gone through the first 10 pages or so in a few minutes, I was instantly hooked! I ended up not buying it that day, so I ordered it weeks later. The humor is pretty good, I can't say I've read many comedy books, but this one really made me laugh. Not only is it funny but it is also well written and I found it great how the author's dad is really funny in his way of thinking, saying and doing stuff, but Justin is also a great writer, his own descriptions and remarks of situations are very funny too. There are also some slightly profound passages here and there, which are great, but it has a steady humor rhythm nonetheless. A great casual read, no doubt. I haven't read the other book by Justin Halpern, but I'm definitely considering it.
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