Saturday Read: Straight Talking by Jane Green

straight talkingInstead of educating myself with the help of intellectual books, I have spent my whole life devouring romance novel after romance novel, missing out on some much-needed sleep and creating completely unrealistic expectations about men and love.

After spending ten years with guys named Damien and Chace who lock eyes with a woman across the room, embark on rocky waters, and finally end up in paradise with the one and only person who could make them change their playboy ways, I began to crave a bit of reality in my life.

After all, how many men could there possible be with the “largest piece of manhood she’d ever seen,” who were also rich, gorgeous, and emotionally accessible only to me?

Yeah, it was time for a heaping tablespoon of reality and Jane Green served it to me. Narrated by Tasha, a woman who sleeps with men to overcome her emotional issues Straight Talking “sets the record straight regarding the real world of dating,” and deals with real people and real problems that people who date in real life encounter. Tasha and her three best friends mimic the Sex and the City group, meeting up for weekly get-togethers and dishing on their latest men.  However, their men mirror ones encountered in reality.  They date salesmen and accountants, not professional athletes and sexy policemen.  They stumble upon issues like sexual intimacy and picking between Mr. Right and Mr. So-Hot-It-Hurts.  Their stories mesh together to create a novel that any type of girl can relate to, from thel hook-up-every-night chick to the one saving yourself for marriage gal.

Tasha’s flashbacks on past relationships allow readers to see how even the most seemingly insignificant of men leave a lasting mark on a woman’s outlook towards dating and love, and how even a small three-month relationship can break your heart.  If you have ever felt like crying in the middle of class or stared at your cell phone wondering why somebody hasn’t called you, Green’s characters empathize as they try to outsmart the men who have all the tools to break their hearts.  She looks at heartbreak, friendship, and sex the way that real people do. 

Unlike the romance novels I devoured growing up, real people yell, cry, talk to psychiatrists, and don’t always come out of relationships as good as they began.  However, they grow and learn from them (yes, I’m spouting clichés right here, but love, sex, and marriage are all about being cliché).  This is a great book for those people who enjoy romance novels and a captivating story, but want more depth to their novels than two hot people having sex. All the time. Over and over again.

This book is more than a great summer read; it’s like a best friend who totally gets what you’re going through and is right there to see you through it.

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