Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Seth Baumgartners Love Manifesto: By Eric Luper

Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto


Seth Baumgartner just had the worst day of his life.

His girlfriend dumped him (at Applebee's), he spied his father on a date with a woman who is not his mother (also at Applebee's!), and he lost his fourth job of the year. It's like every relationship he cares about is imploding, and he can't figure out what's going on.

To find answers, Seth decides to start an anonymous podcast called The Love Manifesto, exploring "what love is, why love is, and why we're stupid enough to keep going back for more." Things start looking up when Seth gets a job at a golf club with his hilarious and smut-minded best friend, Dimitri, and Dimitri's sister, Audrey. With their help, Seth tracks down his father's mystery date, hits the most infamous bogey in the history of golf, and discovers that sometimes love means eating the worst chicken-salad sandwich you can ever imagine.


While SBLM (Seth Baumgartners Love Manifesto) comes across as a typical young adult novel filled with love, hi-jinks, and the occasional moral lesson, it is so much more than that. It does contain everything mentioned above but does so in a way that makes it all so much deeper. Luper is able to do this by both establishing a strong relatable protagonist (Seth) as well as creating situations that many if not all teenagers have at least experienced in their lives. And yet Luper takes it a step further, he leads the reader along with a certain set of expectations of what the book is about and then twists it at the last second changing the angle of the plot entirely.

Besides offering a sensational twist in the plot SBLM also demonstrates engaging characters, strong dialog, and an interesting story. And while at first I was scared of how Luper was going to incorporate the podcasting, it turned out to be very enjoyable, giving it a unique edge from other young adult books.

All in all SBLM was a fun summer read. It will not most likely win awards, but it is well written, engaging, and relatable, making it a great summer read for teens of all ages.


8 out of 10


Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Published: June 8, 2010

Price: $16.99

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