Soulmate Setbacks: Confessions II by J.R. Mason
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Even though I DM J.R. Mason on a regular basis on all types of randomness happening on social media and in the real world, I had the audacity of hope for a warm and fuzzy ending to Soulmate Setbacks: Confessions II. Once again, in the sequel to her dating/rom-com memoir, How is this My Life: Confessions of a Sane Single Woman, it seems to end on a hopeful note, but it’s blown to smithereens in the Afterword. Then it’s obliterated in the bonus chapter that gets sent to lucky readers of the physical book as a PDF. Ebooks for Kindles are automatically updated.
Soulmate Setbacks is more of the same hilarious storytelling of these no-good-not-even-close-to-being-potential-suitors. What is it with men wanting to split the bill on dates–first dates? Worse, on tabs that don’t even cross the three-digit threshold. On dates with myself, by myself, I can easily creep to that figure. I’m having appetizers, main course, dessert, and a drink that may or may not be of the alcoholic persuasion, knowing full well I probably won’t finish it all and will need a doggy bag, if I feel like carrying the bag afterwards. I feel Mason, when like me, I expect the men who date me to treat me like I treat me. Bonus: treat me better. More than once she (we) encounter men who expect to be courted by way of she being the driver or going Dutch. It’s not attractive. In an established relationship, fine. Just starting out? GTFOH.
The sequel picks up exactly where the original ends. The Morning After. Our favorite Non-Prince Charming makes a return with recurring appearances. Why this man can’t Act Right, except knowing all the right erogenous zones to hit is beyond me. The pair literally has known each other for decades. Funny mom and meddling friends also round out the OG “cast.”
I was happy to have been entertained by a whole second book of over 200 pages of men’s fuckery. It’s bittersweet to read about other men who seem thisclose to going somewhere promising relationship-wise, but the only place they go is into the abyss, like ghosts. By no means is this a man-bashing book. It simply highlights the dead ends Mason keeps finding herself in, which you’d think the app filters would help to avoid. However, while also laughing with Mason, I feel disappointed and sad on her behalf because she has yet to be successful in “catching” a great man. Educated, homeowner, career woman—she’s a freaking catch! There is a fun story of her masterminding and executing a plan to catch a rogue chipmunk at the fertility clinic she’s visiting. It’s one of the few wins in the book, and you can’t help but to root for more.
I took this book on a solo brunch date while in DC. No available tables or booths, I sat at the bar looking cute, smelling good, and indulging on chicken and waffles and strawberry-pineapple mimosa. It would’ve been a perfect date, but alas, like J.R. Mason, I have yet to meet my soulmate with whom to enjoy the small pleasures of life.
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