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A twofer for Valentine’s Day reading

February 3, 2014
By Amy Phelps , Graffiti

Just in time for Valentine's Day comes one 25-year-old's search for love in "Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date" by Katie Heaney.

This funny and relatable memoir details Heaney's search for romance (and where it all went wrong) from grade school to grad school, detailing the crushes that came and went, the missed opportunities and the friends she has made along the way. It is ultimately a book about relationships - Heaney's friendships throughout the years, and her life as a singleton.

It is an achingly perceptive book - Heaney doesn't hold any illusions as to why she's never had a boyfriend - from harboring crushes that she will never do anything about to missing cues that someone did like her, to even having someone like her that she didn't like back - she is pretty honest about herself and her foibles. She also hilariously goes back through her grade school diaries, trying to remember who those boys were she had a crush on and why. There is also several stories of drunken kisses at college parties, a summer-long crush on a barista, why it never works out to have a crush on a guy with a girlfriend, and much more. There is also a hilarious scene about why the game Dream Phone would never work in real life. She also writes about the pain of online dating - those can't possibly be PERFECT matches - to the strange messages you are likely to get.

There is a lot about her friends in the book - her best friend Rylee, an outgoing girl that Heaney likens to a lighthouse - someone who attracts people no matter where she goes or what she does, and how their friendship grew and changed over college. If this is a book about dating, it is every bit as much as a love letter to female friendships.

Women navigating the dating world or the world of a singleton will get a laugh out of Heaney's book, which is both insightful, funny and a bit like talking to your best girl friend.

"Never Have I Ever" is published by Grand Central Publishing. It is $14 and 252 pages long.

***

Remember the old "Choose Your Own Adventure" books? Now there's a grown-up version starting with "A Girl Walks Into a Bar" by Helena S. Paige.

You are the one in control of the story as you make decisions for the character and turn to different pages of the book to read the story and find out where your character ends up!

Your character is supposed to be meeting her best friend, Melissa, at a bar for drinks. Unfortunately, Melissa got held up at work, so she's not coming and you're all alone in the bar. And very quickly your paths unfold. Will you have drinks with the rock star? Flirt with and maybe take home the cute young bartender? Follow the sexy artist to her gallery show? Hook up with a famed photographer? Chat with the older businessman? Take a car ride with the hunky bodyguard? Or just head for home and possibly get a glimpse of the new neighbor?

This is a fun read for romance fans who may have wanted to "push" a character in the right direction before. I can even see this being a sort-of party "game" with girlfriends.

"A Girl Walks Into a Bar" is published by William Morrow. It is $14.99. Look for "A Girl Walks Into a Wedding" coming soon.

 
 

 

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