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 fun girls' night out with all of their single friends to remind her why it is so much fun not to be tied down.
But the night becomes a wake-up call for Julie because none of her friends seem to be having much fun: Alice, a former legal aid attorney has recently quit her job to start dating for a living; Serena, who is so busy becoming a fully realized person that she can't find time to look for a mate; and Ruby, a curvy and compassionate woman, has been mourning the death of her cat for months.
Fed up being single in Manhattan, Julie sets off to find out how women around the world deal with this dreaded phenomenon. From Paris to Rio to Sydney, Bali, Beijing, Mumbai, and Reykjavik, Julie falls in love, gets her heart broken, sees the world, and learns more than she ever dreamed possible. Written in Liz Tuccillo's pitch-perfect, hilarious, and relatable voice,How to Be Single is the ultimate novel for the adventurer in us all.
The story starts with a woman getting out of a complicated long-term relationship and struggling to come to terms with her now single status. She then calls up her single friend, who calls up all her other single friends, to help get her out of her lull. She’s interested in how they each manage their single status and realizes that it’s not all it’s conveyed to be. The mismatched group learns to bond over the thing they all hold in common: being in their late thirties and checking the “Single” box. The story covers the up and downs of what single life holds before sending one of them off to discover how other parts of the world handles being single.
I’m mostly glad that How to Be Single didn’t ruin the title by each girl ending happily ever after with the love of her life. It was enjoyable to learn the different courtship rituals from several parts of the world and how they might view single women. It was a very light read, with a little humor mixed in throughout. It held some hope for love, but ended with each independent. It finished how it should with each trying so hard to find love, failing, then coming to the realization that if its meant to happen it will when you are least expecting it. It approached the clichés of the extremes women go to make things work when they are not meant to be or vowing celibate in protest. The story felt like a mixture of Eat, Pray, Love and Sex and the City. I gave How to Be Single three out of five stars because it fell short of my expectations on what they could have captured and how much it lacked a connection to and depth of the characters.