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charismatic and contains nuggets of hard-earned truths
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My Real-Life Rom Com by Carrie Berk is a deeply personal memoir of Carrie’s dating life so far. At only twenty years old her fame and fortune have put her in situations most teens could only dream of, giving her plenty of experience in the dating world to be able to share her advice.

I like that she bears her soul and does not hold back the ups and downs and her part in what goes wrong in her flings. Her writing style is charismatic and contains nuggets of hard-earned truths that could save others some time by reading. I like that she owns the fact that her experiences and the pandemic have affected her mental health and that she openly discusses how family and therapy have helped her through hard times.

From reading this book, I feel empathy for the younger generation that is lost to their social media life and not making real-life connections. In the world of TikTok and influencers, they are being exposed to a glam fantasy. I appreciate that Carrie takes the time to say there is so much going on behind the scenes and the perfect love scenes we see are often fake on reality TV. However, as she is also a content creator and someone putting themselves in a position of dating authority, I am not sure how a young reader might come away from reading her book.

I found some of her messages problematic. She always took time to have a growth mindset after these disappointing flings which I approve. However, it seemed chapter after chapter of the same behavior. She is constantly falling hard and imagining long-term relationships with guys who live out of state or country and she knows she has a time limit. Then she is devasted when they end and thinks terrible things about herself. She discusses her personal “icks” one of them being that guys seek permission before kissing her because she thinks it ruins the mood, although this should really be applauded in an age of enthusiastic consent.

She seems incredibly lucky that in some of the unsafe and compromising situations that she found herself in she fared as well as she did. It’s a bit scary to think a reader may see her carefree and adventurous mindset as an endorsement and not have such a lucky experience.

She is articulate and creative. I think it would be fun if she considered taking these experiences and her considerable writing talent and extensive movie knowledge of rom-coms to create fictional rom-coms. Each chapter felt like the perfect plot until it went downhill. In fiction, after going downhill there would be a scene to smooth it all out and get the happy ending. If it did not mess with her mental health, then she has all the raw material and experience needed to pursue that avenue in the future.

Overall, I am not in the demographic that this book is geared for. I am twice her age and had a much different upbringing and attitude towards relationships. Yet, despite all our differences her writing is engaging and I wish her all the best in finding the healthy relationship she is seeking.
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