3 out of 4 stars
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In Love is Too Hard: The Dating (Mis)Adventures of a Man With Autism, Louis Scarantino addresses one of the biggest challenges for people on the autism spectrum. As an advocate for autism awareness, the author shares his experiences related to dating in high school, college, and as an adult. He offers practical advice to autistic readers about topics such as online dating and what to expect on a first date, as well as practical "dos and don'ts." The author openly discusses some of his dating challenges including getting attached too quickly, oversharing, wrestling with jealousy, and depression. He explains the lessons he has learned from his mistakes in hopes of helping others avoid them and the changes he has implemented for improvement. Ultimately, the author encourages readers with autism that they can find love, just as he has.
With 35 pages, this is a quick read for anyone seeking insight into autism pertaining to dating. The author's writing style is informal, as though he is speaking to a friend; "If you get too attached it may creep them out and you won't get a second date." He transparently conveys both the challenges and triumphs of his dating life. In one chapter, he describes trying to cope with depression after a break-up, while managing a medication change; in another, he is excited to share he has a girlfriend. Although the author writes from a man's perspective, much of the information would also apply to women.
I most like his sentiments regarding his desire to be married, which are particularly touching. "I would want my wife, whoever she may be, to read this one day, to tell her I wasn't perfect in the dating world and it was a huge struggle--more than she realizes." I also appreciate his passion for autism advocacy which is evidenced by his book, professional website, and other writing platforms: The Mighty and Thought Catalog.
On the other hand, while the author does a good job of expressing his emotions, other aspects of his writing are unclear. He doesn't follow a chronological timeline and rarely mentions his age, which becomes confusing. Also, the grammatical errors are minimal, but the author has a tendency to string long paragraphs together without breaking.
For the above reasons, I rate this insightful book 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to male and female readers on the autism spectrum, as well as family members and friends who wish to gain more understanding.
Regarding the short page count, I should note that I read the ePUB format written in standard font size. The Kindle version is listed as 80 pages leaving me to wonder if it is formatted differently.
Love is too Hard: The Dating (Mis)Adventures of a Man With Autism
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