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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I Suck at Girls by Justin Halpern

I Suck at Girls by Justin Halpern
Published by ItBooks ISBN 9780062113375
Hardcover, $16.99

A few years ago, Justin Halpern rocked the book world with his best-selling book, Sh*t My Dad Says,  based on his Twitter feed where he just wrote hilarious stuff his cranky dad told him. The tweets turned into a book which turned into a TV show that did not do the book justice.

In my review of the book, I said that you could tell who in my family was reading the book by the burst of laughter coming from various rooms in the apartment. My adult sons and I loved the profane, funny and yes, touching book.

Halpern is back with another gem of a book, I Suck at Girls, about his (mis)adventures with the fairer sex. Once again there is plenty of wit and wisdom from his father, but also lots of heart. As the only women in a family of men, I found that this book gave me a window into the world of what boys and men really think and feel about women.

Halpern is a shy guy, and to his utter dismay, still a virgin at the age of twenty. His recounting of his prom night is a sad one, but I bet it's probably closer to many people's experiences than we are willing to admit.  High school wasn't a happy time for him, so he was thrilled to be attending San Diego State University ("Harvard, without the smart people", as his dad called it), where he hoped to get a fresh start.

About a fifth of his high school graduating class was going to SDSU, so his hope that no one would know him was dashed when he was referred to as "the guy who wears sweatpants to school sometimes." Halpern writes "Ideally, I'd like to be known as something other than that."

He and his friend Ryan work hard all summer and saved their money to go to Europe, where they had heard that the girls all want to have sex. They decide to go to Ibiza because Ryan read in a guide book that the parties there are crazy. Along the way they meet a great character, Vietnam Joe, who doesn't speak much English, but manages to get a pretty Mexican girl.

Halpern and his buddy get jobs washing dishes at Hooters, and he finally gets a girlfriend. He gets dumped and gets a job at another restaurant and dates another waitress, who is a bit crazy. Finally he meets a woman whom he think she could have a long term relationship with, but she lives in San Francisco.

I Suck at Girls is the kind of book that appeals to men and women. Men will read it and relate to Halpern's life. Women should read it to learn about the interior life of men; if you think they are all dogs, you would be well served to read it to learn about just how insecure men are and how much courage it takes to approach a woman.

And I love his dad even more after reading this book.

I have to give this book a rating of 5 of 5 because any book that makes me laugh that hard and then want to give the poor guy a hug deserves it.


  1. I didn't think "Sh*t My Dad Says" would appeal to me, but your review makes me think that I'd like both Halpern's first book and "I Suck at Girls." Glad to know this second book stood up to the first!

    1. They both have heart and humor, two things I can't resist.