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How to Love an American Man: A True Story

3.42  ·  Rating Details ·  678 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
A lovely, warm, and poignant true story that reads like compelling fiction, How to Love an American Man is Kristine Gasbarre’s unforgettable memoir recalling the valuable lessons on love she learned from her newly widowed grandmother—and how Grandma’s advice and memories enabled the author to find and fall for a man with an old-fashioned approach to romance. Fans of Elizab ...more
Paperback, 287 pages
Published August 16th 2011 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Jennifer
From my blog .

First, a little background.  I have to admit - when I first saw the title of this book, I didn't have much of a desire to read it.  And that was before I even read the synopsis!  Have you ever done that?  Have you made a snap judgment about a book just based on the title alone?  Trust me, I will never make that mistake again!

After reading Meg's review (from Write Meg), I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I had to read this book.  Meg is one of my favorite book bloggers and
...more
Jillian
Jun 05, 2011 Jillian rated it did not like it
Oh Dear.

Every now and then a book comes along where the premise sounds so good that you feel like you MUST read the book. In this case, the book in question was How to Love an American Man by Kristine Gasbarre and I’d requested it as my monthly book to review and eagerly waited for it in the mail. I couldn’t wait to read what I was certain was going to be an amazing story of intergenerational lessons, story-telling and romance.

I was wrong. This isn’t going to be one of those book reviews where I
...more
Meg
Apr 01, 2011 Meg rated it it was amazing
Kristine Gasbarre’s How To Love An American Man is a book that emotionally socked me in the stomach in a way that few books ever have. Gasbarre’s true look at her grandparents’ marriage -- and what may have gone awry in her own love life -- was emotionally wrenching and unique.

In a word, I found this book invigorating. It’s not about a dysfunctional family, for one. Krissy has no qualms about spending the day with her grandmother, escorting her to doctor’s appointments before they sit down to ta
...more
Tressa
Nov 02, 2011 Tressa rated it liked it
Definitely a 3.5 star--maybe a 4. Two of my favorite lines, "I teach the world how to treat me by the way I treat myself, and the way I present myself" and "a partner should make us want to improve ourselves constantly, and urge us to maximize what we contribute to the world." I loved the interaction between Kris and her grandmothers and what they teach her about herself and how to love first herself so that she can learn to learn others. It makes me reflect on how I present myself and if that's ...more
Melissa
Sep 20, 2011 Melissa rated it did not like it
I rarely give books one star, but feel I need to justify my feelings on this one. I've recently gotten into the "single woman travels or tries something new" genera - which seems to be growing as women get laid off or quit their full time jobs and decide to write a book. I liked "Eat, Pray, Love", and I loved Margaret Roach's memoir. Unfortunately, this book doesn't even belong in the same category as either. The writing is juvenile at best. I would say the characters are unlikable, but really t ...more
AL
Apr 06, 2012 AL rated it did not like it
This "book" is a sign that our society is in great decline for 2 reasons: one, it was published - how and why I cannot fathom. The second reason is that there are people who actually positively reviewed this book. This is the worst piece of junk ever to lay before my eyes. The description made it seem interesting but that's the only good thing about it. Immature, badly written and overall just awful. I couldn't stand Ms. Gasbarre! What a super annoying, self-absorbed woman!

Oh, I must admit there
...more
Amy
Nov 08, 2012 Amy rated it it was ok
I'm really not sure what to make of this book. It's a stereotypical rom-com and I was hoping that the family history and advice from her grandmother would play a larger role than it did. I hated Dr. Chris and Tucker and wish that Kristine wasn't mooning over them so much. I had to keep reminding myself that she is only 28 in this book and I'm considerably older, which means that I have learned all of these lessons already.

Still, I'm going through a rough patch. I've recently moved to a new city
...more
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
I have really mixed feelings about this book and how to write the review.. The synopsis and premise for this memoir sounded enthralling and I was anxious to read it, imagining a rich story of maternal family relationships. Instead, it was shallow and self-serving.

After starting it, I had to force myself to pick it up, as it was very easy to set aside and forget about it.

While this is a memoir, I really didn't like Krissy. I didn't care about her. Her time in Italy was almost written as an aftert
...more
Tulin
Dec 26, 2011 Tulin rated it did not like it
This book is poorly written, and felt like one way too long blog post. Every person/character is the story is written in a worshipful tone, even if she does occasionally mention that the person does have a couple flaws. While I'm sure she loves her family very much, this shows a lack of ability to analyze people and characters to make them compelling - it also makes the book boring and frustrating and difficult to get through.
Her relationship with her grandmother is somewhat compelling, but the
...more
JennanneJ
Aug 31, 2012 JennanneJ rated it it was amazing
A beautiful and refreshing look at life, love, marriage, dating and singleness from the wisdom and experience of a grandmother to the ears of her granddaughter. It's not another one of those modern, jaded books on dating. Really sweet and fun.


Page 186:
Maybe the secret to fulfillment is to stop wondering what we're lacking; to stop seeking love and instead to start accepting ourselves and loving the people we encounter.

Page 248:
This is what it's like to be loved by a man. Before a woman falls in
...more
Melanie
Sep 11, 2011 Melanie rated it liked it
This is a hard review to give since I personally know the author. I thought Krissy did a great job on her first novel. It's hard to catorgorize this book. You could put it in novel, fictional memoir and even a sort of self-actualization book. Knowing some of the things that I know about Krissy, when I read the book, it was like I could hear her telling this story out loud. I loved the insight she had on her grandparents relationship and really took to heart the words her grandmother had to say t ...more
Ron Behnen
Apr 30, 2011 Ron Behnen rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely refreshing. The family connection is so inspiring in today's world as we always read about strife within families. Gasbarre doesn't point blame at anyone; she simply struggles with relationships and turned to her grandmother as an alternative to today's ways of handling dates and the way guys look at relationships.

I could picture this as a movie soon. if hollywood doesn't see the emotional swings this book brings, then they're missing the boat. Good luck to Gasbarre in h
...more
Carrie O'Maley Voliva
Jun 30, 2011 Carrie O'Maley Voliva rated it it was ok
This book started off with promise, but it turned into a rather annoying tribute to the writer's grandparents. When she started with some fun dating stories, it was interesting. Then she veered off course and spent 4/5 of the book talking about an annoying doctor who may or may not now be her boyfriend. Can he live up to her perfect grandfather's example of how a gentleman treats a woman? We don't even get to find out.
Meghan-Rose
Dec 02, 2011 Meghan-Rose rated it did not like it
I'm about halfway through this book and I absolutely despise it. A grown woman wrote this book? Her obsession with needing to find a man in order for her life to have some meaning is borderline pathetic. I'm tempted to stop reading it now but I'm holding on to hope that she will redeem herself by the end of her story.

*Update: to clarify, I did not finish reading this book. It was that bad.
Mary
Mar 29, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it
You can read my take here.


Caroline Daily
May 04, 2012 Caroline Daily rated it it was ok
Author a bit whiny??
Kallejay
Hated it. Too long and repetitive and focused on her insecurities
Diane
Aug 16, 2011 Diane rated it really liked it
Gasbarre moved back home to DuBois, Pennsylvania following the death of her beloved grandfather, the head of her loving family. She was a little lost, professionally and personally. The man she loved moved to Bahrain, and she was losing interest in her job as a nanny in Italy.

When Grandpa dies, he left behind a bereft wife. Krissy always admired her grandparents' marriage, and now she had the opportunity to spend time with Grandma and ask her how she and Grandpa made their marriage work. Could G
...more
Kris Irvin
Nov 28, 2011 Kris Irvin rated it did not like it
Here's the problem I found with this book: the description/synopsis makes it sound AWESOME! And then you get into it, and you realize, it's not awesome.

Before I get into the bad about this book, I do want to say that Kristine's writing in the beginning was great. The first 30 pages were hard for me to read because they were so emotional. Kristine did a great job there. But after those first 30 pages...

It's supposed to be about the lessons Kristine learns from her grandmother, right? And about h
...more
Katie
Jul 31, 2014 Katie rated it liked it
Wow, this book has gotten a vast range of reviews! I tend to like memoirs in general and this one appealed to me instantly. I feel like the author of the book has been blasted for being immature and childish, which really surprised me. I felt like I was watching Kristine grow up throughout the book. I found her relationship with her grandma endearing and her candid writing engaging. This was an engaging book, and I thought very relatable. It's difficult as a 20-something today trying to find out ...more
Sarah K
Mar 26, 2013 Sarah K rated it did not like it
Is this chicklit? Is this a memoir? It is not clear! Gahhh. And from looking at Goodreads, no one knows here either. It appears to be a memoir, but is written in third person narrative. Weird. Try as I might, I just did not like Krissy, though I wanted to because she seems (outwardly, and in the first 30-40 pages) to be SO SWEET for taking care of her grandma after her grandpa's death. Awww. But seriously... I couldn't. She sounds whiny and immature, though she is basically in her late 20s (abou ...more
Amy
Sep 09, 2014 Amy rated it liked it
So I wasn't exactly sure what the story was going to be about, but over all it was good.
Kris starts just like a lot of girls I know, who seem to be addicted to being in Love. It was cool how she begins to establish a more "grow-up" relationship with her parents and grandparents. Her grandmother turns out to be what some of us would consider forward thinking, for being so 'Old Fashioned'.
When i began, I felt kris was what most young women are these days, somewhat needy, and no direction. What sh
...more
Jessica
Feb 09, 2012 Jessica rated it it was ok
There were aspects of this book that I did like, but overall I was kind of disappointed with it. The author had always struggled with dating and felt like she was never going to meet a good guy to get serious with. She decided to spend a year in Italy supposedly to research her family history, but really to try to make a long distance relationship with a British guy work. When that relationship ended not long after her grandfather died Kristine decided to move back home with her parents until sh ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Gasbarre's grandfather and grandmother had the perfect marriage and the perfect life. Gasbarre is beginning to think she will never find anyone with whom she can share her life, that she will never have a marriage or a life like that of her grandparents. After a sojourn in Europe and yet another disastrous relationship, she returns home to spend time with her grandmother and listen to her counsel.




I had mixed feelings about this book. I got very tired of hearing about the clothing and the jewelr
...more
Sarah
Dec 02, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
Favorite quote: "I teach the world how to treat me by the way I treat myself, and the way I present myself" SO TRUE. I am going to try harder on this!

Honestly, the title of this book turned me off at first. Who has the authority to tell me how to love an American Man? BUT WOW. This book was beautiful because it involved a strong relationship between the author and her grandparents. I am a SUCKER for grandparent relationships, as I love my grandparents to death. They are my WORLD. Kristine beaut
...more
Prathyusha Kanala
Oct 10, 2011 Prathyusha Kanala rated it really liked it
When I started reading and was half way through I started getting disappointed that it is nothing great. But slowly towards the end I found myself enjoying the style of writing and the bonding with her grandma and all the important dialogues in the book. The last chapter when the two confess is like a dreamy poetry that just flows and puts me into a happy mood just not happy but a longing feeling to be with my loved one too. Loved the ending and the abruptness of it. The book kept me thinking of ...more
Katie
Mar 07, 2012 Katie rated it it was amazing
There was something about this book that hit home. I don't know if it was because I felt a strong connection to the Author -- as she had moved from home & moved back, as she felt that she wasn't going to find love after a break up, as she was in a transition in her life. I don't know when the exact part of the novel was that I couldn't put it down. It was a very easy read, it was uplifting. I've never recommended a book to my friends as much as I have this one. I believe that every young wom ...more
Meredy
Aug 25, 2011 Meredy rated it liked it
Shelves: fun
This memoir had me crying in the first chapter. If you have ever lost a grandparent or been close with one, this book will definitely touch on those feelings. A delightful read as Gasbarre takes us on her journey of finding love with the help and influence from her grandma after her grandpa (and rock of the family) has passed after 60+ years of marriage. If anything, this book will make you want to call your grandma(s), as she/they truly are wise and inspirational when it comes to love.
Chick
May 23, 2011 Chick rated it it was amazing
This book is excellent and so refreshing! To think a younger person is inspired by her grandmothers speaks volumes and actually tells a lot about how our generation misses the mark so many times. this shouldn't be a new idea!...Grandmothers always try to give love advice based on their experiences 50 years ago. This book relates with the older generation and the twenty-and thirty-somethings, for sure! I can't wait to see this as a movie. Keep it up, Ms. Gasbarre!
Erin
Sep 20, 2012 Erin rated it it was ok
This book was really boring. Focusing mainly on the relationship between the main character, Kristine, and her grandmother, the other main idea in the book was that Kristine doesn't know how to go about finding a man who lives up to her idolized grandfather. The only reason I kept reading was that I wanted to know if she finally got the guy...even though the guy seemed distant, disappointing and just not that into her. Not recommended.
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“Maybe the secret to fulfillment is to stop wondering what we're lacking; to stop seeking love and instead to start accepting ourselves and loving the people we encounter.” 9 likes
“In this moment, I understand that relationships aren't just a blessing, they're a necessity. The Trials of the individual are never enough reason not to love.” 8 likes
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