My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Thank you, Berkley, for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
He was a different man than he’d been before book club. He recognized his own faults and shortcomings.
This is hands down the funniest book I’ve read this year. Out of the 29 novels, it’s the only one that made me laugh out loud in the car while my big brothers were having a moment of comfortable silence. I rarely read New Adult fiction, but witty and hilarious stories like this might change that fact.
The Bromance Book Club is about Gavin, an outstanding baseball player. On the night of his Grand Slam, he discovers that his wife, Thea, has been unhappy with their marriage. Gavin doesn’t want to lose her, so he seeks the help of his teammates, who happen to be part of a secret book club for men with marital problems. Gavin is dumbfounded when his friends claim that he can win Thea back by reading romance novels. Since such books are usually written by females, they can teach men how to interact with women better. Sounds logical, eh? I want to include Song of Solomon on their reading list (because the Bible is an excellent guide to married life), but I digress. xD
I loved the premise of this book. The idea of a “bookish jock” seems so contradictory, so it’s great that the author played with this stereotype. Indeed, it’s challenging to strike a balance between books and athletics, but it’s possible if you’re diligent—or in Gavin’s case, desperate—enough. I’m a bookworm who dislikes most sports (sweating in general), so I couldn’t help but enjoy the twisted plot. It was fun (and a bit inspiring) to read about macho men immersing themselves in the world of literature (brawn + brains). Ugh, if my family sees this review, they might point out my thin figure once again and encourage me to exercise. :p
As expected, Gavin and Thea played the blaming game. Both of them were at fault, but I thought that Gavin was more accountable. His pride got in the way, making him detach himself from Thea for several weeks or months. This might surprise you, but I sympathized with their plight. I’m familiar with the feeling of wanting someone to apologize first. Also, let’s just say that I know some couples who have/had the same problem. Why can’t we just practice humility and initiate reconciliation before our relationships become too damaged to mend?
Thea wasn’t so innocent, either. She let her troubled childhood (e.g., her feelings of abandonment) dictate her opinion of her husband. It came to the point that she doubted Gavin’s sincerity and resigned herself to having a broken family. To make things worse, her twin sister Liv insisted that Gavin was an irredeemable jerk. It sucked that she had to play devil’s advocate. The final argument in the book was her fault, and I was like, “Shut up, lady, you’re not helpin’!”
I didn’t like Gavin and Thea whenever they fought, but I loved them whenever they collaborated to make their twin daughters happy. The kids’ antics were mostly endearing, and my affection for them didn’t falter even when one of them puked on Gavin after eating too much pie. And just so you know, their pet dog ate some of the vomit. Haha. Nonetheless, this book failed to eliminate my dislike for real children. I feel so irritated when I hear babies cry in public places. :l
As a whole, The Bromance Book Club is anything but a shallow rom-com. It reminded me that marriage requires a lot of work and that you shouldn’t give up on your spouse even if he or she seems like a gift from the Underworld sometimes. “Till death do us part,” remember? If you weren’t prepared to fulfill such a promise, then you shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place.