Reviews for Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto
Booklist Reviews 2010 April #2
In rapid-fire succession, Seth gets dumped by his girlfriend, Veronica; spots his dad cozying up to a woman who most certainly isn't his mom; and gets canned from his fourth summer job. He pours his heart out in a series of anonymous podcasts he calls The Love Manifesto, which, naturally, don't stay anonymous for long. Chapters oscillate between heartbroken musings; idle time on the golf course with his snarky best friend, Dimitri; and some light detective work tracking his dad's side woman. At the same time, Dimitri's gangly younger sister suddenly isn't so awkward, and Seth eventually realizes that there's a difference between relationships of convenience and those of genuine feeling. It's a fairly white-bread read, but Luper earns some marks for likable characters who arrive naturally (though sometimes painfully) at universalities that will ring true for many teens. The shelf life of some of the pop-culture references will be fairly short, but for now, this is entertaining summer reading with heart and soul worn proudly on its sleeve. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
At the same time his girlfriend is dumping him over lunch, Seth discovers his (married) father dating another woman, fueling resentment in the lead-up to a father-son golf tournament. Documenting his views on love via a podcast, Seth realizes that all relationships are more complicated then they seem. Seth's casual, authentic voice gives the plot enough lift to keep readers engaged. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2010 May #2
When Seth's girlfriend dumps him during her lunch break at Applebee's, he is not only heartbroken but totally grossed out: While Veronica squelches his dreams of love with nonsensical platitudes like, "I'm too comfortable with you," Seth spots his father having an intimate meal with a sexy woman who is definitely not his mother. Oh, and then he gets fired. From a French-fry stand. Overwhelmed by his messy tangle of feelings about love, Seth records and uploads an anonymous podcast called The Love Manifesto. As his podcast grows in popularity, Seth progresses from utter dejection and know-it-all cynicism to optimism and a grudging acceptance that love isn't an all-or-nothing proposition. All the while, he is supported by his often absurd but deeply loyal best friend, Dimitri (a bit too strongly reminiscent of An Abundance of Katherines's Hassan), and Dimitri's charmingly no-nonsense sister, Audrey. Luper weaves together many themes--trust and secrets, lies and truth, love, lust and, of course, golf--in a way that even the most introspection-hating male reader will eat with a spoon. Derivative but supremely enjoyable. (Fiction. YA) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 June #3
After the title character's girlfriend dumps him on the same day he sees his father with another woman, Seth starts an anonymous podcast where he plays songs and muses on the nature of love and lust. In addition to the podcast and his job at a country club's pro shop, Seth is also spying on his father's "other" woman, assisted by best friend Dimitri, who plays the sex-obsessed sidekick role. As the podcast grows in popularity, Seth's anonymity is stripped away, getting him in trouble for his candor. At the golf course, a friendship develops with Dimitri's wiser-than-her-years little sister, Audrey, while the plot builds to an over-the-top confrontation among Seth, his love interests, his father, and his father's two women during the annual father-son golf tournament. Though Seth is not quite as evolved as he thinks he is--he describes his father's other woman as "a slightly weather-beaten Eva Longoria wannabe," and repeats Dimitri's comment that Seth's mother is a "major-league MILF"--Luper (Bug Boy) delivers plenty of laughs for the average male reader, if not feminists. Ages 12-up. (June) [Page ]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2010 September
Gr 9 Up--Poor Seth Baumgartner: his girlfriend dumps him during lunch, and while leaving the restaurant he sees his father with a woman who isn't his mother. The 17-year-old has a lot to process over the summer. Along with humorous conversations and soul-searching with his relatively clueless friend Dimitri, he pours out his feelings about love on the Internet. Seth has typical teen interests (music, cleavage, hanging out) but is overwhelmed by the thought that his father is having an affair, and finding out more about the woman becomes a fixation. More trouble arises when Seth's podcasts, full of snarky comments, are discovered by people who consider him a friend and he struggles to make amends. Seth and Dimitri are avid golfers with summer jobs in a country club pro shop. A stroke-by-stroke description of an important tournament deliciously draws out the tension in the last chapters, and the revelation of a secret results in a positive ending and the indication that Seth is maturing. Those who enjoy computers and music will appreciate the details of creating and uploading the podcasts, although the pop-culture references will date this book in a few years.--Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX [Page 157]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2010 June
`Seth's summer following graduation starts poorly. He gets dumped by his girlfriend, Veronica, at the restaurant where she works. In the same moment he notices his father is also there, having an intimate lunch with a woman who is not Seth's mother. Seth finds himself in a miserable situation: bemoaning the loss of his love while spying on his father and his mistress, unsure of what to do with this information. Seth's dream is to work in radio like his mother, so he creates a podcast. "The Love Manifesto" describes his thoughts on love, along with a list of 156 reasons why he loves his ex-girlfriend Seth's evolving views on love, prompted by Audrey, his best friend's younger sister, are front and center in this novel. Luper's character faces the very uncomfortable situation of being in the middle of what could very well destroy a marriage, while at the same time dealing with issues of friendship, loyalty, and love. Addressing themes similar to An Abundance of Katherines (Dutton Juvenile, 2006/VOYA October 2006), Seth is looking for who he really is and what he really values. This book makes for a fast read, and the reader is rooting for Seth to succeed in coping with his complicated life. Some vulgar language and the many references to sex, while accurately portraying how many teens speak, may prove too much for some readers.--Etienne Vallee 3Q 3P S Copyright 2010 Voya Reviews.