Part of me wants to give this four stars, part of me wants to give it two. I was as bi-polar as the chick in the story while reading this little single.
I agree with some of the other reviews... Shubaly is definitely self-centered, and he's truly a writer because he seems to feel everything more profoundly than he should, and seems to believe everything that happens to him has a more profound purpose or meaning than it really does.
I chose this book over the one about running based on the reviews that claimed that one was more about his drinking/drugging/badboy lifestyle than his love of running, and that he came off as self-indulgent in it. I can see that, because in this book, every time he waxed on about his drinking and drugging days, he did it with a bit of self-deprecation and a whole lot of grandiose, dramatic wording. You can tell he's trying to paint a very specific picture of himself. Maybe it's the truth, maybe it's not, but either way, it sorta made me roll my eyes.
The reason I want to give it four stars, is because he really is a pretty good writer. It's not always easy to write a short story and keep it short and complete at the same time. He managed that, and to be honest, I had trouble putting this one down, so I can't deny it's an entertaining story, even if it sort of... fell into his Shubaly's lap, seemingly. There were moments where he really made me feel for him, too, even though I started out not really liking him all that much. And he tries to be pretty honest about his own shortcomings, even if you can tell he believes them to be romantic flaws, rather than pathetic ones.
I gave it three stars, because ultimately, I knew what was coming long before Shubaly did. Not that I blame him for that... what happened to him is unfortunately a common occurrence in this digital age, and I think we can all say we've had some sort of experience similar to his, if not quite at that level, and it's pretty hard to see the forest for the trees when you're in the thick of it. I just feel as though his own narcissism and superficiality allowed him to be an easy target (which in a roundabout way, he does admit, though I never feel like he really gets it). The part of me that wants to give him four stars is the part reminds me that we can all fall prey to the same self-centeredness that renders one blind, especially where sex and love are concerned (yes, in that order, even if Shubaly seems unable to admit that, too). In the end, though, he gets the three stars for being a good writer/storyteller, but loses on the fourth because he just... couldn't really make me sympathize with him, which in turn made me feel as if I was just being recounted a story by a friend. It was fascinating, exciting at times, and you felt for him, but in the end you really just wanna smack him upside the head and say, "Duh. And what did you learn from this?"
My guess is kinda not what he was supposed to. But that's to be expected, too, and I'm not sure he can be blamed.
Bottom Line? It's a cheap (price-wise), compelling, and definitely worth the read, if only to teach you a lesson about what can happen when you buy into your own hype and lose your ability to question what's probably too good to be true.