willaful's Reviews > The Bro-Magnet

The Bro-Magnet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
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's review
Jan 07, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: made-me-laugh, arc-gift-or-netgalley
Read from January 09 to 10, 2012

I started this with some trepidation, because humor based on gender stereotypes is rarely my thing. It sounded fun though, so I gave it a try -- and it turned out to be a lot of fun, as well as sweet and unexpectedly wise.

Johnny is a really good guy, who somehow rarely gets credit for his stellar qualities from women. The traits that other men love in him, like being good at sports and able to fix junker cars, always seem to lead women to one conclusion: “asshole. “ They rarely notice that he’s considerate, generous, warm-hearted, chivalrous and at least makes an effort to remember to put the seat back down.

When Johnny meets a woman who seems like she might just possibly like him, he’s determined not to mess it up this time. And seeking advice from pretty much anyone who’ll give it, he performs a make-over, becoming “John” (because “y” ending names are too little-boyish) who likes wine instead of beer and opera instead of sports. What happens next is partially incredibly obvious and partially a real surprise.

This is a light story -- lighthearted, lightly characterized, lightly over-the-top. The beginning description of Johnny’s adolescence, in his first-person narrative, made me feel like I was reading YA -- and actually I think young adults could love this story. (There’s some swearing but no graphic sex.) It’s very funny in a wry sort of way, and though there is some ridiculous situational humor, it’s not what entirely drives the book: in one memorable scene, John takes his date to an opera that turns out to be put on by a farm family in a hayloft, but they just go with it and have a really good time.

I think what I liked best about the story is that it’s essentially non-judgmental. Although Johnny’s “manly,” low-brow tastes are embraced, he discovers he actually likes some of the new things he’s tried -- but more importantly, he discovers that “things like who loves sports and who loves GH (General Hospital) and who loves both… none of that stuff mattered so long as, somehow, you saw down into the essence of the other person and they saw you.”

It’s hard to categorize this book: it’s not traditional romance, not exactly YA, certainly not realistic fiction. Its most obvious category is humor. But I think romance readers will also enjoy it; I certainly did.

(reviewed from e-arc provided by netGalley)
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Reading Progress

01/10/2012 page 72
27.59% "This is really funny. But I hope he doesn't wind up with Alice because she is such a be-yotch!"

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Christy (new)

Christy LoveOfBooks This sounds like a fun, light read. Great review.

willaful Thanks, Christy.

message 3: by Jacqueline (new) - added it

Jacqueline Sounds really good.

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