Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto
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.
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