Warning: there may be spoilers.
While searching for activities to help me manage my anxiety, I have found myself returning to some of my old hobbies that my anxiety once ripped me away from. One of those hobbies is reading. I have decided to include amateur book reviews for each new book that I read here on my blog. These reviews will be based entirely on my personal opinion. However, I would love to read your thoughts in the comments. I will give each book I review a star rating out of 5, and will sometimes provide a summary of the book’s plot following my review. The first book that I have picked up in months is, “The Girls’ Guide To Hunting And Fishing,” by Melissa Bank.
This book was a short, quick, and relaxed read. However, I found it to be a bit undistinctive and disappointing. The book jacket described the book as having a “comic touch,” but I didn’t laugh a single time while reading it. This story was written in the style of a memoir and read like excerpts from someone’s diary. I didn’t feel that this book flowed together as a whole. It seemed choppy, as if the author was giving the reader short glimpses into a situation without coming forth with the whole story. One of the chapters in this book, “The Best Possible Light,” was awkwardly placed and seemed detached from the rest of the book. I found myself wanting to connect with the characters on a deeper level but I didn’t get that from this book. The protagonist, Jane, seemed to reflect the traits and interests of whoever she was dating at the time. As a character, she seemed a bit malleable and one dimensional. Though this type of character may be relatable to many women who are out in the dating world today, I personally found it difficult to see Jane’s unique personality through her overpowering love interests. The title gives the impression that the book likely contains some empowering feminist themes. However, the book turned out to be almost entirely about the exploits of Jane’s romantic relationships. I was hoping that in the end, Jane would take a break from dating to build her own life but that didn’t happen. Ultimately, I didn’t love this book but I didn’t hate it either. It was a bit monotonous and unmemorable. If you are looking for something deep, insightful, and intriguing, this isn’t the book for you. However, if you are just looking for a quick read about a woman’s dating history, you may consider giving it a try. If you want to read my summary of “The Girls Gide To Hunting And Fishing,” scroll down to the end of this post.
Have you ever read this book? What were your thoughts about it? Would you like to recommend a book for me to read and review? I would love to hear from you in the comment section below. If you liked this post, please shoot me a like, comment, or follow.
Book Rating: ⭐⭐
Up Next: “The Glass Castle” By Jeannette Walls 🎭
Love Always, AnxiouslyM
“The Girls’ Guide To Hunting And Fishing” follows protagonist Jane Rosenal as she navigates her way through rocky relationships, personal hardships, and major career moves. The book begins with the introduction of Jane and her family at their cabin in New Jersey. Jane is a teenager and is just beginning to learn the complex and confusing dynamics of romantic relationships by observing those around her. Her bother Henry brings his new girlfriend Julia, who is 8 years older than him, home to meet their parents. Jane watches as Julia strives to win over her parent’s admiration. Julie seems to fit in well with the family and seems to genuinely love Henry. However, Jane learns that love isn’t always enough to keep two people together. Jane comes to care for Julia, but is forced to say goodbye after the relationship between Julia and Henry slowly dissolves.
As an adult, Jane recounts the learning experience that was her first real boyfriend, Jamie. Jamie and Jane seemed to be in a comfortable relationship until a vacation trip with an ex-girlfriend and her new husband insights jealousy and creates doubt surrounding the relationship. While on this vacation, Jane watches and Jamie’s ex tries to make her husband jealous by flirting with him. Before long, the ex’s new husband is returning her efforts by making a move on Jane. Confused by it all, Jane openly confronts everyone together. Ultimately, Jamie and his ex apologize to Jane for their shameless flirting. Though she gives them her forgiveness, the situation has already planted the seeds of doubt in her relationship.
After returning from vacation, Jane finds he affection for Jamie weakening. Her attention is captivated by a much older man named Archie. Archie and Jane are drawn to one another like magnates. The two clearly have chemistry and share some similar interests, but the couple struggles with communication and sexual intercourse. This particular relationship is very influential for Jane and continues for a long time. Jane and Archie come to know one another very well as Jane slowly merges her life with his. Jane’s parents, especially her father, struggle to accept the large age difference between her and Archie. Ultimately, Jane learns that Archie is an alcoholic. By this point, Archie has already proven himself to be a bit insecure in the relationship. He becomes frustrated by the communication issues between him and Jane, and he seems to blame her for all of it.
Though Jane decides to leave him, they eventually get back together just as Jane’s father confesses that he has been sick with leukemia for years. Jane is very close with her father, and tries to remain by his side as much as possible during his final days. During this time, her father reveals to her that the reason that struggled to accept her relationship with Archie is because he didn’t want Jane to be forced into the role of caregiver for someone who is much older than herself. With almost perfect timing, Jane gets a call that Archie is in the hospital. In the end, she decides to leave Archie once and for all.
Jane eventually goes on to battle breast cancer. During this time, Jane is in a lackluster relationship with someone new. Though the guy seems to treat her well, there is no real connection between them. Jane decides that she wants to go through her cancer treatments on her own, breaking things off with her new guy.
The story ends with Jane meeting her “Mr. Right.” She meets Robert at her best friend’s wedding and falls for him at once. However, she does not want to screw things up with him and does not trust her own ability to keep a relationship going. Following the recommendation of a friend, Jane buys a book that supposedly guides women through the dos and don’ts of dating. Jane follows all the rules, never calling first, making him chase her, and insuring that he had to compete with others by dating other people. Robert genuinely cares for Jane but feels like she is playing games and ends the relationship. Jane decides to apologize to him and together, they decide to resume the relationship.