Surprise! As a special Valentine's Day treat I am reviewing a second book this week, He's Just Not That Into. HJNTIY is not only special because it is the second book of the week, however, it is also a) another #1 New York Times Bestseller, b) my first review of a nonfiction book, and c) a recently released full length motion picture ***shameless plug shameless plug*** (my company did A LOT of work for that film and its dvd, including the in-character interviews that run over the end credits, so everyone should go see it). This may not be the best book to review for Valentine's Day, seeing as it mostly tells girls that their boyfriends don't like them, but it's hard finding a book that is specifically V-Day themed and isn't titled Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink. And who knows, maybe this will make someone's Valentine's Day better NEXT year.
Some nonfiction books are like really good documentaries, and have plot arcs and characters and tell the story of some great historical figure's life. He's Just Not That Into You is more of a self-help book, which in this particular case means it spends 187 pages yelling the same six words at you over and over again. It's put together utilizing some fun and interesting little devices, such as chapter notes and workbooks, so you can sum up everything you've learned so far. The only problem is that there's no point, since the answer to every question is the same: he's just not that into you. Your boyfriend forgot to call you on his lunch break? He's just not that into you. Your fiance hasn't settled on a date for the wedding? He's just not that into you. The guy you gave your number to at your sorority sister's bbq just got out of a really serious relationship? He's just not that into you. Alright, I get it. The basic premise for the argument is that women make excuses for their men on a daily basis, lying to themselves and everyone else about how much the guys really care. Ok, I can see how this could be true sometimes. I can even understand that the writers are correct in all of their examples. I'm a guy, and I agree with almost everything in the book. If I really like a girl, I enjoy spending time with her and talking to her and occasionally getting her fun and romantic things. Ladies, if your guy is acting shady, he probably IS shady, and maybe not that into you. That's fine, I'm right there with you. But please, change it up a little.
The first few chapters are great. You open it up and see all of these truths about the male mind, and what guys really mean when they say "I'm just really busy lately." Finally, someone is doing us men a favor and telling the women how it is, plain and simple, so we're all on the same page. Tell them more! No, wait, hold on, you just told them that, I said tell them more! No, seriously, hold you, you're saying the same thing again, tell them other things, move on. Ok, come on now, it's Chapter 9, you've got to have something fresh and interesting to say. And so on. Here is a list of those chapter titles, actually, to further illustrate the absurd redundancy of this book:
1—He's Just Not That Into You If He's Not Asking You Out
2—He's Just Not That Into You If He's Not Calling You
3—He's Just Not That Into You If He's Not Dating You
4—He's Just Not That Into You If He's Not Having Sex With You
5—He's Just Not That Into You If He's Having Sex With Someone Else
6—He's Just Not That Into You If He Only Wants To See You When He's Drunk
7—He's Just Not That Into You If He Doesn't Want To Marry You
8—He's Just Not That Into You If He's Breaking Up With You
9—He's Just Not That Into You If He's Disappeared On You
10—He's Just Not That Into You If He's Married (and Other Insane Variations of Being Unavailable)
11—He's Just Not That Into You If He's a Selfish Jerk, a Bully, or a Really Big Freak
I would like to be able to say that each one of these chapters holds its own little mine of useful knowledge gems, but now that you've read those chapter titles, you've basically learned everything that the book could possibly teach you (and I know it's hard to come to terms with, but most of that stuff is common sense anyway). It's a good book to take a look at if you're in one of those horrible situations, and you need that extra little push to dump his sorry ass, or get over the jerk who you hooked up with once and never heard from again, or for some funny coffee table conversations. It is not a good book if you're boyfriend's phone really did die, or you're the kind of person who gets paranoid about things you have no business being paranoid about, or you have any common sense at all. By all means, read the first chapter or so, but don't feel the need to discover the truths in the remaining pages, you've already discovered them, and definitely don't waste the $22 they're charging for the hardcover.
He's Just Not That Into You
by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo
It's a self help book, there is no story.
It's great that there are chapter cheat sheets and fun little tests to see if your guy is into you or not. It's not as great to see the same exact response to every question and concern. It reads like a Ronco oven infomercial. Set it and forget that he's just not that into you!
I don't mean to beat up on this book. I'm sure that someone, somewhere, was influenced immensely by this book. To be fair, though, that can probably be said for episodes of Melrose Place.
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