Following the critical and commercial success of ‘Sh*t my Dad Says’ would be no easy task, but the comedy writer Justin Halpern has risen to the challenge with ‘I suck at Girls’.
It follows the authors storied romantic past, and looks at the events that led to his marriage to Amanda, and the advice his father gives him about teenage life, love and all the tribulations we have to go through to reach adulthood.
There are events in the book that we can all appreciate, from the school bully, to teenage years where your body has different ideas to your brain, from the time spent with the wrong person, or the mind-numbing hours spent doing things to make our loved ones happy. The book has the same light touch as its predecessor, and yet has more humanity and warmth to it. It reads well, is light, entertaining, and it does not outstay its welcome.
The book is well written, and shows the gaucheness of youth in all of its absurdity, and the irony of thinking other people are cooler, just because of who their friends are, or what they wear. The callowness of youth, particularly the writer’s youth is painfully drawn. The starting point of the book is following the writer’s time spent at home, following a relationship break up with Amanda, and the genesis from a twitter feed for the work that would push him onto the international stage, and from there we see his first infatuation at school, and a drawing that bought more trouble than was thought possible.
If you liked ‘Sh*t my Dad says’, or comedy that is well written, and pokes fun at the adolescent experience, this could be the book for you.