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Tami

Tami

I'd do nothing but reading if I could (ok, maybe eat some great food, buy some fancy shoes between two books...oh, and spend some quality time with the gorgeous guy I married while I am on reading-break anyway...)

Life Doesn't Come With a Manual (But it Should!) - Lane Shelby Might contain spoilers!!! The title is the best thing about the book for me. I really wanted to like this - but my expectations (see title) was a fluffy, a little angsty, but witty and funny story.What I got was a whiny, self-righteous 1st person narrator, insta-love (including insta-family in the epilogue), some hardly believable plot turns and an all-around not very interesting story with some OTT drama which was predicable and easy to prevent. There was basically no humor in this whole novel. It wasn't very entertaining and the characters acted so strange from time to time that I didn't care for even one of them. Even the parents lost any credibility along the way.Here some things I especially disliked:1. How it was impossible for Jonah to break up with his girl-friend. I mean, really? Just tell her, hey, I just don't feel that way for you anymore. Why, oh why does this have to be linked to his coming out??? This doesn't make sense at all. Instead she gets ridiculed and humiliated in this story, because she wants to have sex with her supposedly straight boy-friend who lies and cheats and also talks with his new boyfriend about her. Way to go. But then she gets her way, and he has sex with her - after realising that he is gay and in love with Luke. Great thing. Would have been great if you didn't shout a guy's name while taking her virginity. But fear nothing, her anger over this betrayel only lasts a week. They are BFFs after all (and what is being lied to for weeks in the face of that?).2. How a lot of very improbably twists prevented the coming-out that would have prevented the whole dramatic break-up. 3. How whiny and weak Jonah came across. He basically grovels at Luke's feet after Luke broke up with him. For weeks. This is not very attractive. And Mom lost all sympathy with me, when she counsels Jonah to grovel some more. Because "you have to fight for love". Well, in real life you judge people on their behaviour, and if someone hurts you badly, you should not grovel to get that person back - that person should apologize.4. Which Luke does - and guess what, my major major pet peeve makes an appearance: Luke was raped (basically twice), which is why everything he did was ok. This was unnecessary and didn't serve any other purpose in the story than to give a sob story for why his behaviour is ok, or at least irrelevant in the big scheme of things. I hate this! Don't ever use rape as a plot tool. Either integrate it in the story and treat the topic with respect or leave it be!5. How could Luke think that it would "help" Jonah if he leaves him after Jonah's Dad catches them kissing and goes ballistic (even hits Jonah)? The main reason why Luke breaks up with Jonah (and all the ensuing drama) is supposedly to protect him from the evil things his parents will do to him. Well, good job, protecting him with leaving him alone! Yes, that makes a lot of sense. This way, if Dad decides to have his son raped or beat him up or thrown on the street, nobody is there to help him.6. The convenient insta-family (female BFF gets pregnant), the saccharine sweetness at the end, the sloppy perspective changes and a lot of other things.I will stop here.