Monday, January 21, 2013

Review- The Bro-Magnet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Goodreads Summary:

Women have been known to lament, "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride." For Johnny Smith, the problem is, "Always a Best Man, never a groom." At age 33, housepainter Johnny has been Best Man eight times. The ultimate man's man, Johnny loves the Mets, the Jets, his weekly poker game, and the hula girl lamp that hangs over his basement pool table. Johnny has the instant affection of nearly every man he meets, but one thing he doesn't have is a woman to share his life with, and he wants that desperately. When Johnny meets District Attorney Helen Troy, he decides to renounce his bro-magnet ways in order to impress her. With the aid and advice of his friends and family, soon he's transforming his wardrobe, buying throw pillows, ditching the hula girl lamp, getting a cat and even changing his name to the more mature-sounding John. And through it all, he's pretending to have no interest in sports, which Helen claims to abhor. As things heat up with Helen, the questions arise: Will Johnny finally get the girl? And, if he's successful in that pursuit, who will he be now that he's no longer really himself? THE BRO-MAGNET is a rollicking comedic novel about what one man is willing to give up for the sake of love.


I got a copy of The Bro-Magnet when it was free on Amazon and I was so eager to read the book. The whole concept of the book seemed great and refreshing as we get a glimpse into a man's head. About what men think about women, about dating, about relationships and about marriage. We've all read about women always being the bridesmaids and never the bride, but this was the first time I came across the tag line 'always a best man... never a groom'. I was excited to begin reading this book and I was not disappointed. 
The Bro-Magnet is a hilarious, awesome and an absolutely refreshing read that had me laughing out loud innumerable times. I mean it when I say that I thoroughly enjoyed every page and it was a totally colourful and entertaining ride. 
The Bro-Magnet is the story of Johnny who has a great family and a great bunch of friends, who wanted to become a lawyer but follows his father's footsteps by taking up the family's painting job, who is looked up to, appreciated and admired by majority of the male population, who has been best man in so many weddings, whose best man wedding speech is a hit among the crowd and who is a HUGE baseball and beer fan. 
Unfortunately, he has never had any luck with women. His mother dies after giving birth to him, his aunt Alfresca accuses him of killing her sister, his first crush, Alice hates him and marries his best friend, his best friend, neighbour and co-worker, Sam is a lesbian. After looking at his married buddies, Johnny feels the absence of a woman in his life and that's when he deicides to take matters in his own hands and gets serious about finding his own life partner. 
I loved being with Johnny on his journey to find the right woman. His family comprising of his dad 'Big John' and his aunt Alfresca was a riot. They are people with a big heart and an even bigger sense of humour. 
His friends made loyal and a strong gang. It was fun reading about the changes that Johnny sees in his friends after their respective marriages. 
His best friend/neighbour Sam was, for me, the coolest character. She was fun, lively and had a kind of razzmatazz personality. 
Another significant character in the book is Leo, the coffee-shop owner and his wife whom he calls 'The Little Lady'. His story and the role he plays in shaping Johnny's views about love was moving and touching. 
When Johnny finally meets lawyer Helen Troy at a baseball game, he is intrigued by her and wants to get to know her. This is where Johnny's world turns upside down. 
With a lot of help and advice (necessary and unnecessary) from family and friends, he goes from being Johnny to 'John', remodels his home by throwing in flowers and little girly things, almost gives up his love for sports, buys a rather lazy and crazy cat, finds himself asking other men about how to woo women and women about how to impress them, but most importantly, he evolves as a man. 
I enjoyed reading about this phase and transition of John. He is so nervous about dates (on the first date, Johnny does not eat anything because he is afraid of having bad breath!) that sometimes I found myself thinking 'do guys even bother so much about such things?' and the answer was yes, they do. It matters so much to John what Helen thinks of him, how she looks at him, how selfless he is when it comes to Helen that he willing to do whatever she says. 
The meetings between Johnny and Helen's very close-knit, huge and jolly family and between Helen and Johnny's riotous and fun-loving family were gratifying and very sweet.
Johnny was cute, funny, sincere and loving while John was still the same guy with only a stronger belief in himself and in his relationships. Helen is smart, cool, very kind and warm-hearted. They are great as a couple, balance each other perfectly and are similar in more ways than one, which I cannot elaborate further without giving away spoilers! 
Author Lauren Baratz-Logsted's writing keeps you awake and alive and laughing and wanting more. At times, a few things did seem a bit too girly, nonetheless The Bro-Magnet was an awesome book and in the end, that is what matters- enjoying what you are reading and The Bro-Magnet ensures that you do just that- relax, read and enjoy.
The Bro-Magnet is a hilarious refreshing read that makes you laugh, appreciate a man's efforts, look at how much relationships matter to men, how willing they are to make it work when they know 'she's the one' and how a little bit of help and lots of humour goes into making a beautiful relationship. 



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