Entertainment » Vol. 46

Books: You’ll love Pimentel’s Love by the Book


By Kimberly Dunbar

Dating sucks. Whether you prefer to scout out your next lover in a sticky, smelly bar or surf potential mates on the Internet under the guise of anonymity, things can get awkward. Really awkward. Especially if you don’t know the rules. If this sounds like you, run – don’t walk – and pick up Melissa Pimentel’s Love by the Book.

In an attempt to understand what it takes to snag a man, Lauren Cunningham – a 28-year-old ex-pat living in London – decides to dedicate the next year to researching the rules of the dating game. With a failed marriage in her rearview mirror and cursed when it comes to dating, Lauren sets out to follow one dating guide a month to discover what it really takes to catch Mr. Right. Lauren follows such books as The Art of Dating, Find a Husband After 35, and The Rules of the Game – all books published to help single women find their match.

What ensues is a collection of hilarious dating encounters – failures would be an understatement – to which most readers might be able to relate. You’ll laugh, maybe cry (from laughing so hard), and you’ll wince, remembering your own bad dating experiences. Some of the gems she meets include a billionaire-turned-street-meat-vendor (his pickled shark wasn’t enough to make Lauren stay); a 41-year-old bike mechanic and pothead who lives in his friend’s attic; and a bookseller who hassles Lauren every time she buys another one of the useless dating guides. She tackles dating from all angles; she follows advice from the Victorian era, commits herself to celibacy, approaches relationships as business deals and even dabbles in the online dating game. But will she find love and happiness like the authors promise? You’ll have to read and find out.

The best part of Pimentel’s Love by the Book is that it’s loosely based on reality. Pimentel started the same dating experiment as the fictional Lauren, intending to publish the results as a memoir. However, a few months into the adventure she ended up meeting her future husband. Unable to continue the experiment and unwilling to date random men while she pursued her relationship with her now-fiancé, Pimentel decided to turn her experiences into a work of fiction. This turn of events actually works out for the best, as Pimentel was able to take more creative liberties with Lauren’s dating and sex life, even incorporating the dating horror stories of her friends. However, this didn’t stop me from wondering which one of her targets ended up being The One.

Love by the Book is available on Amazon and other online booksellers.

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