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51/50 The Magical Adventures of a Single Life

3.08  ·  Rating details ·  590 ratings  ·  72 reviews
51 dates. 50 weeks. That was the social experiment Kristen McGuiness—single, living in LA, and entering her thirties newly sober—embarked upon. McGuiness thought facing her struggle with alcoholism would be the hardest part, with love coming easily afterwards. It didn’t. Rethinking her previous dating strategy, she embarks on the ultimate social experiment: 51 dates over ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 24th 2010 by Soft Skull Press (first published August 10th 2010)
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Average rating 3.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  590 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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Mar 08, 2012 rated it liked it
*More tragic than magic*

A great example of how you really can't judge a book by its (front and back) cover. The fun cover picture, the "magical" title, and the blurbs on the back cover suggest that this book will be full of exciting and entertaining dating adventures of a hip thirty-something navigating the wild ride of the dating world. But, the reality is that the fifty-one dates of this book are more about Kristen trying to free herself from her past relationships than they are about the
Jan 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am a bit mystified by some of the negative comments on this book. Granted, it was not perfect (for a few reasons), but you can't seriously give the book a low rating just because she didn't end up with the guy you wanted her to. Or because you didn't like the topic itself. Or that she counts two of the "dates" when they were with her dad and other relatives. That's just weird to me. That's like saying you didn't like what/how she wrote because of the color of her hair. It's her life and her ...more
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Saw this as a free selection on amazon for Kindle and it looked pretty good. The idea sounded cute and funny: a single, now sober alchoholic is tired of being alone and decides she will go on 51 dates on 50 weeks, on a quest for true love.

Too bad this book wasn't as cute and funny as I had hoped it would be. I wanted to like this book. I really did. I overlooked the negative reviews. Even when I was half way through and bored , I still kept on reading, hoping it would get better. Each chapter
Jan 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Less of a memoir about dating and more of a memoir about learning to love- loving herself and being open to love. McGuiness has a very engaging and honest writing style and I found myself really caring about her. It did not seem as navel gazing or shallow as some memoirs I've read by authors in their early 30s. McGuiness has a good story that is inspiring in its own way. The only bone I have to pick with her is a use of a metaphor that she didn't quite understand. She compared alcoholism with ...more
Jan 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this as a free book for my Kindle. That being said, the book was definitely worth purchasing. I loved the story of Kristen's recovery from alcohol & drugs, and her story of going on 51 dates. I really enjoyed her recount of learning about herself through her relationships with friends, men, and her father. I found myself highlighting her words to go back and apply to my own life. I think this author is very talented, and I look forward to future works from her.
Jan 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: nf-memoir-biog
I'm not a fan of memoirs, but I started reading this because I got a free Kindle download and I was hooked. Kristen is frank and accessible, without ego or pretention, and you just want the best for her. I was so interested I had to Google her to see what she looks like and find out what happened after the last chapter. I've suggested this book to 2 or 3 friends already.
Dec 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Interesting book that is more about a recovering alcoholic discovering who she is as a sober person and her healing process than it is about dating. Lots of good stories.
Andrea Marquez
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. I thought I would be able to relate to it and there were a few statements that I could. But it was difficult to keep up with all the many, different characters. The book jumps around a lot. And I have to admit I didn't even have the will to finish this book. I skimmed through the last pages and realized it was just one rendition of a pointless "date" after another. No magic there.
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2017
It took me a bit to finish this book, mainly because of life. I did like it, especially since I can identify with the author so much in her dating life. She continues to look back on her exes and is attempting to move on. It is advertised as a humor book, however there really isn't a lot of that. If you are just starting out dating again after a breakup I would suggest this book, mainly because it is nice reading about someone who is also struggling in the dating world.
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was utterly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. When I downloaded it, I knew it was an odd choice for a girl who was nearing on 5 years of marriage (a marriage which started at the age of 22 nonetheless) and a girl who swore off dating of all-kinds upon entering college until 'the one' came along. Kristen McGuiness and I did not approach dating in the same way.

But I loved her story, the story of her, the honesty with which it was told and the rawness she so willingly exposed. I jived
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed reading this book. A slight disclaimer: I got this book as a kindle freebie, and therefore wasn't even entirely sure what it was about when I started reading it. SO, I started it thinking it was “chick lit fiction”. I realized fairly quickly I was wrong, and was happy to then discover it was a memoir.

A really well written, intelligent, and quite funny and engaging memoir at that.

Kristen McGuiness is a sober alcoholic and drug addict. And at the
Carly Thompson
Sep 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really liked this dating memoir that focuses less on typical chick lit stories of dating and more on the author's personal growth. The premise of the book is that McGuiness decides to go on a date a week for one year in a proactive effort to find the guy for her. Each brief chapter describes a date. Some of the dates are second or third dates and some of the dates she spends with her family. A great deal of the narrative is spent looking back at past romantic relationships, her difficult ...more
Brianna Kilcrease
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
51/50 is an amazing book. Don't get me wrong. I had a few problems with it, hence why I'm rating it a four. But I mean beyond that the writing was great, I loved Kristen and I found myself wanting her to get with all these men. I started reading this book yesterday and finished it today but I can't seem to understand why it felt like the book was so long. But then again when there's 51 chapters it kind of does seem long.

So the thing I didn't like mostly was that at the end of this
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'll be honest here. The only reason I read this book was because I found it for free and I wanted to try out my new kindle app. But I'm glad I found it, because while I downloaded with the intention of reading a page or two, the book grabbed me and I devoured the entire thing in a couple of days.

There were times in the book where I started to get confused as to who was who, but I tried not to let my OCD get in the way and just continued on, because the book isn't so much about the men she
Feb 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Kristen writes a brutally honest account of her quest for life in 51/50. She is 30, a recovering alcoholic, and just happens to have herpes. Throw in a serious daddy issue, and you've got a disaster walking. In this true story, Kristen documents each of the 51 dates she goes on in a year with a no-holds-barred approach. As she tries to fix her life and find the man of her dreams, readers who may have been put off by her initially may just begin to root for her after all. No matter how flawed she ...more
Dec 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
Just couldn't bring myself to finish it. Ultimately, I didn't care about her or her stupid dating life. (view spoiler) ...more
Nov 05, 2011 rated it liked it
So this was an interesting read. I didn't read any reviews beforehand, and somehow I missed the memo that the author was an alcoholic. Oops. In any case, I appreciate the journey Kristen went on, though I got annoyed with her many times throughout the story. I also am ambivalent about the shaman, but I say to each his/her own when it comes to spirituality. And to be honest, I actually loved the very end. (Spoiler Alert) While I think it would have been great to see her end up with someone, I ...more
Dec 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a bit confusing. It jumped all over the place in time and she talked about so many characters that it was hard to keep them all straight. Halfway through it I thought it had to be real or a memoir or something. I was reading it as an e-book and didn't really read the summary before I started so I didn't know (and I didn't even see the author's name or else I would have got it then!!!). Turns out I was right and it was her true life. But it was interesting enough and I kept at it. ...more
Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
Honestly, I was expecting a little more magic to happen. I'm really happy for the author; for how much growing she did as a person. It was also nice to hear a few things from a new source. Overall though, I can't help but be a little disappointed with finishing the book. On top of just expecting a little more magic, I was disappointed with her cutting remarks about "schmoos" and "yuppies." They just brought me down and I can't shake it. As someone who has wrongly been called similar things, I ...more
Oct 21, 2010 added it
Shelves: memoir
I have known the author since high school so I had to read her book when I found out about it! I appreciate the openness with which the she describes her wild past and I can identify with her yearning for a life of passion and balance, sometimes stumbling on the way. Living in LA certainly has its booby traps and black holes to carefully navigate, especially in the abyss of the dating world. We follow Kristen on her courageous journey- and I couldn't put this book down to see if she found ...more
Aug 23, 2012 rated it liked it
I tore through this book in one day (2 flights and an afternoon at the pool), and while it was fairly entertaining and super easy to read, at certain points it just became depressing and frustrating. Half way through the book when she brings up Oliver for the ten thousandth time I just groaned. When she's still harping over him three quarters of the way through I wanted to throw the book across the room and scream "just get the eff over Oliver already, will ya?!" Despite my frustrations, it was ...more
Tammi Stanley
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I rooted for the happy ending as well. To avoid a spoiler, I'm not going to say whether or not that happened. :)

I really enjoyed this book. I too was a single for my entire 20's and never thought I would find "the one". It was interesting to read about Kristen's project and how her childhood shaped her dating habits in her adult life. Somehow my relationship with my father didn't cloud my vision of men and I did end up with a good man. I also found it interesting how Kristen's sobriety affected
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book didn't grab my attention as much as I hoped it would, and as a result it took me much longer to get through this book than my normal fast reading pace. Kristen's struggle to understand and improve her relationship with her father and her quest to understand how that relationship has effected her (and her dating relationships) was what grabbed my attention most within the book. Overall, it was a good read. In the end, I felt that Kristen grew so much from when she first began writing ...more
Kelly Oh
Jul 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Having read this book when single and dating, I felt as if Kristen McGuiness could read my mind. I didn't have the EXACT same experiences she did, but I found myself laughing out loud at her commentary on various dating experiences. It's an easy read...I spent evenings reading it while on my bike trainer. I would recommend it to any single person feeling as though there will never be one's own perfect mate out in the world. I felt just like Ted from HIMYM at that point in my life, and think that ...more
Jan 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
51/50 was a quick read about a woman trying to figure things out by going on 51 dates in 50 days. It was a fun book to read - especially for free.

Really the only problem I had was there was some jumping back and forth between, what I think was, present day and a past date. Besides that it was well written and I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a cutesy, real book. Glad I found it!
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this book. True story about a single woman in her 30s who goes on 51 dates over 50 weeks. It's both funny and insightful and, for personal reasons that I can't give away because that would be a spoiler, I loved the ending.
The book isn't trying to be something it's not,but it's a great palate cleanser in between more serious reads. I thoroughly had a good time reading this book.
Dec 31, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldnt-finish
I was grabbed by the premise of the book...the author was sick of being a lonely and single 30-something and so took the dating game into her own hands by going on 51 dates in 50 weeks. I wanted to finish but there was a bit of profanity, including at least 3 f-words by the time I was only 15% of the way through so i decided not to finish. disappointed that people can't find other words to express themselves.
Jun 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I could not get into this book. I'm currently on chapter 18 and giving up. There's so much navel-gazing, and 1/3 of the way in, the main character seems to be rehashing the same thoughts and similar experiences over and over. I'll admit she's dealing with situations I haven't had personal experience with, but I would still expect to relate to or enjoy the main character more by now. The over-romanticized expectations of men and dating/relationships is also getting to me.
Feb 12, 2011 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the book, but then I have a lot in common with the author (i.e. my man picker is broken). I agree with some other reviewers that she didn't really hit the 50 date goal and that's okay because it was more serious, went deeper than hitting that goal would have allowed for. 50 dates in 50 days is misleading, making it sound more like a beach read. What you'll find instead is raw and humble honesty- I like that better anyways.
Paula Katinas
Oct 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
I liked the fact that the writer didn't trash the men she dated and she seemed to take responsibility for her choices in life. She blamed herself for the fact that she was single. Still, I was a little disappointed that she did not find love in the end. I was hoping she would meet the love of her life on one of these dates.
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