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How to Be Single

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  7,279 ratings  ·  922 reviews
It's the most annoying question and they just can't help asking you:

Why are you single?

On a brisk October morning in New York, Julie Jenson, a single thirty-eight-year-old book publicist, gets a hysterical phone call from her friend Georgia. Reeling from her husband's announcement that he is leaving her for a samba teacher, Georgia convinces a reluctant Julie to organize a

Paperback, 404 pages
Published June 10th 2008 by Atria Books (first published 2008)
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Average rating 3.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,279 ratings  ·  922 reviews

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Lala BooksandLala
Jan 23, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: contemporary
This was a directionless novel about a group of unapologetically self obsessed 38 year old single women. I was expecting something different - maybe inspiring, about forging your own path and not relying on relationships to bring you joy. It could have been that. Or it could have been funny. It could have been romantic. It could have been smart. It could have been fun. It could have been educational. Unfortunately it was an annoying bore, full of clichés and stereotypes and I failed to see any p ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

I read this several years back during one of the infamous "Winter Reading Challenges" in order to score a free coffee mug, but ended up kind of ripping all of the library's suggestions to shreds (including another by this author) so I never posted a review (you don't insult the people who help supply your addiction, after all).  This past week my social media has become the Land of All Things Beauty and the Beast and I (once again) st
Jan 22, 2009 rated it liked it
I can't quite figure out whether I want to give the book two stars or three. On one hand, each character - filled with pathos and false bravado, reminded me of well... me. And all my female friends. On the other hand, it felt ridiculous and contrived (which naturally upsets me). And at the end of reading the book, I'm torn about whether or not I liked the book.

This was an essay disguised as a novel,and reads like a non-fiction, which works for the book. I didn't hate the book - it flows well en
Oct 19, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Only the first 20 pages of this book were smart. The rest was offensive. The international stereotypes were so obvious it was insulting. Really, Liz? The Chinese girl who laughs and laughs? The Indians who "bobble" their heads? The strong nordic women? I was shocked to discover she did ACTUAL research for this novel, stemming from ACTUAL travel to the countries mentioned. If someone had asked me, I would have said that the only research she did for this book was to go to Disneyworld, take a ride ...more
Lives with Books
Feb 06, 2009 rated it did not like it
This book was so depressing.

It made me feel like "I need to get married" and at the same time, "It will never happen because all men are bastards."

It should have been called, "Accept You're Single Now Because Noone Will Ever Want You."

Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Fair warning: unless you are a single woman in her mid to late 30's, you may find this book trite and possibly annoying. However, should you fall within the target demographic, read on. I did...twice! Tuccillo co-wrote "He's Just not that Into You," which should give you some indication of the combo insight and humor awaiting you here.

What I loved about this book, and what made me laugh over and over, is the reminder of how nutty we get at a certain age when we haven't married. Yes, I know that
Aug 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is Sex and the City meets Eat, Pray, Love is the best way to describe this book. You have 5 women focused around the central character, Julie. Julie works for a publisher and is off to write a book about being single across the world after a humiliating night out. Her friends that barely know each other in the beginning become her Sex and the City girls.

Alice is a Legal Aid Attorney who quits her job for a new career in dating. She meets a wonderful guy and is tired of dating - will sh
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Maybe because I have never really been single, I just found this trite. From the perspective of being married, I want to tell these thirty something women to grow up and get over the princess in waiting attitude. I feel like most of the women have completely unrealitic expectations of what love and commitment are. Really if the reason Julie can't get a guy is because she is only a size 6 and has celluite - then how does that explain the hordes of happily coupled/married size 12 and up women?
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Nope this book is not for me. I am single. I found this book is offensive on judging singletons. Nope sorry.
Feb 04, 2011 rated it did not like it
I know this book was intended as chic lit fiction; but the ethnocentrism in the book was derailing for me. The main character Julie epitomizes the ugly American abroad.

In Australia she writes: “Like an aborigine with a bottle of Wild Turkey, Georgia spiraled out of control.” and “Her name was Fiona Crenshaw from Tasmania (a small island off the coast of southern Australia).”

Then in China she writes: “In Beijing, as I soon found out, they enjoy “squatter” toilets. Even in some upscale establishm
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Maybe because I have never really been single, I just found this trite. From the perspective of being married, I want to tell these thirty something women to grow up and get over the princess in waiting attitude. I feel like most of the women have completely unrealitic expectations of what love and commitment are. Really if the reason Julie can't get a guy is because she is only a size 6 and has celluite - then how does that explain the hordes of happily coupled/married size 12 and up women?
May 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Oh god, how many more books can I read about 30-something single women who live in New York before I want to shoot myself? There's a quote on the back from Plum Sykes (Vogue airhead and faux-writer) that reads, "A fun read that reminds single girls everywhere that it's fabulous to be single." I don't think that Plum Sykes actually read this book. How to Be Single reminds us that being single is miserable--you'll get dumped, ditched, or treated like dirty; the love of your life will be screwing a ...more
May 17, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: vapid people.
I've been waiting for this book to appear so I could review it. Okay, I read the whole thing, but if you know me, you know that once I start, I rarely stop, so the fact that I finished a book does not suggest that you should, and, in fact, I advise that you avoid this book altogether. First of all, did no one edit this book? She gets away with sentence fragments. No, I'm not talking about artfully used, I'm-breaking-the-rules-because-I've-mastered-them sentence fragments, I mean just flat out fr ...more
Jun 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This was an awesome, fun, inspiring read. It's about a 38-year old woman Julie. She's single. She has 4 single friends, and she decides to travel the world to write a book about single women in different countries. Among the places she visits are Rome, Ireland, India. In each country she meets all kinds of women, and in each country, women have a different take on being single. The author actually did do the research - her information in the fiction book was real. And I found it fascinating.

I l
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
I've read through the various reviews for this book just now and really, unless you're in your late 30's/40's, single and trying to date in NYC (or anywhere really), you probably don't like this book, or find it unrealistic or trite. Me, being the person described above, LOVED it. I found a bit of myself in each character. I didn't find them deplorable or desperate. I found them to be real. I think most women have found themselves in the psycho, desperate, woe-is-me, why can't I find love and wh ...more
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
I just took this book out from the library and got three chapters in and realized I'd already read this book.
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
ok so I'm only halfway through this book, and plan on finishing it so this review is pre-emptive. I will finish it in the hopes that Julie, the main character, will have some sort of revelation and stop being so irritating, but I won't hold my breath. I am writing the review now because I need to vent. I hate this book. And I take the word hate pretty seriously. It makes it seem like women are nothing without a man - over and over and over again. "Why didn't he call - it must have been the cellu ...more
J.H. Moncrieff
May 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
So happy to finish this book. If ever a novel deserved to go flying across the room into a bonfire, it was this one. But I'll give it two stars for the fact that I finished it, and it somehow managed to avoid the stereotypical "Prince Charming arrives in the third act" ending.

I am tired, frustrated, and furious with these books that appear like they're girl-power, single-woman anthems, and then spend hundreds of pages reinforcing the old saw that a woman is nothing without a man. The protagonist
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
2 Stars

I read this months ago but have been procrastinating about writing my review.

The short version is that How to Be Single was disappointing, uninspiring, and frankly quite depressing. The characters were obnoxious. There was not much of a plot. And it read like a twisted self-help book secretly designed to drive single women to the edge of despair and despondency.

The flimsy plot is that the main character, Julie, decides to write a book about how women in different cultures handle being s
Jul 24, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book had great potential, and many great moments, but doesn’t deliver in the end. After a night out with her four single girlfriends, Julie decides to travel the globe interviewing single women for a book about dating in different cultures.

It’s a great premise, except that Julie gets air sick every time she flies and is too shy to talk to strangers on her own. Fortunately, one of her friends is able to fly across the world to each country she visits to hold her hand. And in every country s
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
i don't feel like talking about this book so i'm not gonna and you can't make me.
Mar 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Made me think a lot about my single life and how many cats I will end up having by the time I'm 38.
Aug 16, 2011 rated it liked it
So, where do I start...
Well, first off, the title of the book is so contradictory to what it is actually about. The title should be: “How NOT to be single”.

I am disappointed in this book because personally becoming recently single after being in a serious long term relationship I was hoping to read a book that gives you advice and insight into how to be okay being single. Not that I need it, but that’s what I assumed the book would be about, given the title.

The overall feeling I got from the bo
May 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I actually chose to read this because of how inspiring I found the movie. I wanted more of that, I wanted to delve deeper into the characters that the movie had given me. Big mistake. This has been added to my very, very short list of books that are worse than the movie (it holds the number 3 slot). That may be harsh, the book was well-written. It's characters and plot well developed. But it what it should say is don't ever read this book while single. Ever.

This was one of the more depressing vi
Jan 28, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, 2009, romance
If there was a book that the last page literally saved, it was this one. And not only because it was ending.

I wanted to like this book, really, because I thought it was fun. But I didn't have fun with it, and it didn't teach me anything that I didn't know already. I don't know if women really become *that* desperate when they reach a certain age and they are still single, and I really would rather not believe so. I wanted to smack all the characters silly for being so...well, pathetic.

But I'm g
Linda Doyle
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
The title of this book could be How Not to Be Single or Desperate Daters. Either title would have been more appropriate. The author tries to counterbalance the depressing stories of these single women with humor, but there is not enough hilarity to tip the scales in a positive direction. Instead of laughing, I cringed. These women, all described as beautiful and intelligent, commit incredibly stupid acts in their desperate searches for Mr. Right. Also, the main character travels around the world ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-fiction
The movie is not even remotely based off this book, it was the inspiration for a movie. Please do not go in to reading this book expecting the movie or vice versa.

I will say that this book took me a long time to get into and simply left me wondering why I kept reading it. The characters are supposedly 38 and mostly single, but they act like they are 25. It was hard to remember their actual ages as they were written and read younger. This is not a feel good book about "being single" and it kind
Jan 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
As a smug coupled person, I can read this and find it slightly humorous. But if I were single this would make me manic with depression. Overall, a directionsless book that wandered and never landed. Incredibly self centered and moody. No grand "point" or revelation, and left a reader (moi) with no idea how a book so vague could be published. Truly not worth the read.

"One hundred percent of all humans need hope to get by. And if any statistic takes that away from you, it's not worth knowing."

Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book is Sex in the City meets Eat Pray Love with entirely too many convenient moments. Overly convenient moments can be annoying. (But as someone who writes, I totally get that convenience can help speed things along.)

That said, I do think it covered the many thoughts that go through a single girl's mind -- positive and negative. And it is interesting to think about it from different cultural perspectives.
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The Book Was Better: HOW TO BE SINGLE 2 28 Mar 31, 2017 09:49PM  
Contemporary YA: How to Be Single Book vs. Movie 8 22 Jun 20, 2016 09:08AM  

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Liz Tuccillo is an American writer and actress best known for her work on the HBO comedy series Sex and the City and for co-authoring (with Greg Behrendt) the self-help book He's Just Not That Into You. Her first novel, How to Be Single, was published in June 2008.


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