Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Review: Popular by Lauren Urasek

Title: Popular
Author: Lauren Urasek
Publisher: Sterling
Age Group: Adult
Category: Nonfiction
Release date: October 6th, 2015
Pages: 224 (Hardcover)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon Author

With more than 15,000 4- and 5-star ratings, an average of 35 messages per day, and hundreds of thousands of profile views from interested suitors, Lauren Urasek was dubbed "the most popular girl on OKCupid" by New York magazine. She then started a popular Tumblr detailing her experiences with Prince Charmings (and Not-So-Charmings), and now tells all in a series of frank, funny essays about the ups and downs of dating in the city that never sleeps. She's run the gamut of the nominally "single and ready to mingle" males of New York City, from dudes who went in for a kiss within the first ten minutes to one who conducted an impromptu “girlfriend job interview.” And in between the horror stories and dating disasters, Lauren shares some real talk about what works—and what doesn't. Her tales of wooing and woe will leave anyone who's ever tried online dating rolling in the aisles. 

Lauren's 19 essays are punctuated by cheeky yet informative sidebars on: 
- 10 male accessories or clothing items that'll turn a girl right off 
- Red flags you should NEVER ignore 
- Quirky/weird/offbeat ways to find out whether a guy's not right for you 
- The 15 WORST usernames 
- A comparison between different online dating services (OKCupid, Tinder, Match, etc.) 
- And much more!

As a young woman who has recently experienced the ups and downs of online dating, Popular seemed like a book that I needed to read.  From the first page to the last, it's filled with hilarious and cringe-worthy stories, which helped me realized that no matter which city you live in, the people really aren't that different.  A lot of Lauren's experiences were scarily accurate to the dozens of less-than-stellar guys I've dates over the past year and a half.

It seems that online dating is more of a form of entertainment than an actual way to meet "the one".  Don't get me wrong, I know plenty of people who have found love online, but for some, it's going to take a lot of digging through the bullshit.  Unfortunately, I am one of those people.  Like some of the stories mentioned in this memoir, I've spent time with perfectly nice guys that I just didn't connect with.  I've also come across some of the worst people I've ever met.  Popular isn't just a collection of tragic dates.  In its own way, the experiences shared are surprisingly uplifting.

The book is filled with stories, lists, and contributions from other women around my age, which I enjoyed greatly.  I think that even those who haven't gone the same route to find a partner will be able to read Popular in one sitting, because each of the essays pull you in deeper.  Lauren's voice is that of a best friend or older sister.  She doesn't dance around the truth, and that may be my favorite thing about Popular.  I don't read nonfiction very often, but I definitely would if I found more books like this.

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