3 out of 4 stars
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Almost 60 years old, there isn’t much the author, an international flight attendant and multi-published fiction writer, hasn’t seen or done. One year after finalizing her divorce and never one to shy away from a challenge, she decides to kick up her love-life a notch, reign in the skeptical attitude and take on the world of online dating. Username jamada is born and the online dating games begin, opening a whole new Pandora’s box of life-lessons, self-doubt and situation comedy.
Author likens herself repeatedly to Alice in Wonderland, who has taken a tumble down the rabbit-hole, landing in a foreign and scary world that is inhabited by strange unfathomable creatures. As she goes through online profiles that sometimes read stranger than fiction, takes you with her on dates gone horribly wrong and tries to make sense of this uncharted territory, it’s enough to give you vicarious shudders born from amazement and disgust.
I Still Want Fireworks is shock-full of sassy sayings that would look good framed on the wall. “Unfortunately, the relationship hunt is- for most men- a “Catch and immediately release” sport.” “Make a mistake once, and it’s a mistake. Make the same mistake again, and it’s now a decision.” These are only few that came from this goldmine of sarcastic and spot-on life wisdom quotes.
This book is a must-read to all women, no matter the age, who are thinking of taking on an Online-dating odyssey of their own and who aren’t very knowledgeable beforehand of potential pitfalls and dangers that wait out there for an unwary adventurer. But I am also going to give a small warning here, the content might not always appeal to those who are easily offended and live by the straight and narrow politically correct mindset. There is no topic that’s holy for this author and she calls it like she sees it, stereotyping with glee. Fat, bald, stupid, uneducated, boring, short, old, black, poor, the list of faults, that almost every man or woman crossing her path has, is long. Self-claimed mild racist, she admits to her shallowness and her genuine regret over her failings and continuing self-awareness is probably her saving grace and redeeming factor that allows the reader to swallow the rising anger brought on by some of the more callous remarks.
Still as we experience and witness the raw and real moments of her life, everything the author writes resonates and I applaud her strength to show vulnerability and the inner stitches of her well-worn and polished armor. She doesn’t candy coat her own mistakes or short-comings but tries to delve deeper to uncover the source and reason for them and I especially love the conviction she has kept throughout life, to always meet a test that is supposed to shock or fluster us little dainty women, with a head-on approach.
There were more than few times I felt the author was overthinking all the interactions with potential suitors, until she was almost perched on the edge of paranoia, but I am going to give her the benefit of doubt, that it was justified to some extent. Funnily enough I found myself vacillating between belief that she was selling herself short and that she had way too high expectations for her potential partners. Still she seemed to possess a laser-eyed insight to human character and her observations had a seek and destroy property, locking in on the target with precision and wit.
Overall I’m giving this book 3 out of 4 stars because the exhaustive use of statistical data employed, concerning online dating, lost its novelty very quickly and became a bit too much. All those percentages, equations and numbers distracted from the story and could have been conveyed more freely with authors own words. I would have loved a little more juice and bit less information about how the juicer works.
Call it a treatise, experiment, expose, research, memoir, manual, chronicle or journal, don’t miss this book if you want to know more about online-dating, the pros and cons, dangers and most common scams to avoid, inside tricks and tips and modus operandi of different available sites.
And finally, maybe the most important truth to take with you from this book, is to always know what you want in a partner and never be afraid to admit it or pursue it. If it’s a muscled tan body of a young accomplished man that rocks your sixty-year-old boat and lights up the sky with the fireworks you’ve been wishing for, then just face it, embrace it and set sail.
I Still Want Fireworks
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