Author: Eric Luper
Publisher: Harper Collins, 2010.
Seth Baumgartner is taking his lunch break at Applebees with his long-time girlfriend when she drops a bomb--she's breaking up with him because she's just too "comfortable" with him. While reeling from that devastating blow he sees his father walk into the restaurant--with another woman! The cherry on top of his craptacular cone comes when he returns to work late and loses his job. The fourth one of the year. Seth is just not having a good day. Seth responds by creating a podcast--the Love Manifesto--questioning why people fall in love in the first place and if it ever stands a chance.
This *could* be a really sad book with a whiny protagonist. Instead, it's a funny, well-written, engaging story that will appeal to both boys and girls. There are tons of local Capital District references. Eric Luper mentions street names and community names, and refers to the time the mudslide happened on Delaware Ave (I remember that!!). It was a treat being able to recognize so many of the locations Seth frequented. Seth is a funny guy with a good cast of supporting characters. Even though Seth makes mistakes along the way, his journey is entertaining and enlightening and readers want him to succeed.
The book is about "love" but there are many other issues as well: friendship, family, identity. The cover is awesome and allows boys to pick it up without feeling self-conscious. There's so much written about the lack of good books for boys and the "boy reading problem." If only there were more books like this one! Cool cover, funny protagonist, sports (golf), music, technology, and yet the main character is in touch with his feelings. Put this one on your Christmas list for that hard to buy for boy in your life.
I'm an Amazon Associate now. If you click on the Amazon links & buy anything I might make a tiny bit of money.