SbJ’s conversational, confident voice lends an air of authority to this insightful book, making it a great resource for young people seeking healthy relationships.
The games have to stop, SbJ asserts. All of the manipulation, conniving, and dishonesty are holding people back from having successful relationships. In this debut book, he reaches out to young African Americans and offers candid advice on how to move past the usual drama and begin having meaningful and fulfilling relationships.
The main thesis of the book represents a worthy cause, and the author provides some interesting insights and good advice. For example, when discussing arguments, he lists fifteen things to avoid when angry, including not staring directly at the other person, not cursing, and not causing damage to personal property. They may seem fairly obvious, but such reactions can quickly occur when anger gets the best of someone. The author’s casual but confident voice lends him an aura of authority, and his passion is apparent in his common warnings to “stop and think!”
The book is organized into small snippets that make it easy to read on the go. In each one, SbJ presents a question he asked in a survey, lists some of the answers he received from the wide variety of participants, and then offers a paragraph or two of his own thoughts on the subject. This format provides a consistent structure to the book and makes it easy to put down and pick up without any trouble getting back into the subject.
While serving in the military, SbJ studied medicine, including human behavioral psychology. He also became interested in philosophy and sociology and began observing certain behaviors during his travels throughout the world. These experiences led him to write this book in an effort to help others improve their relationships. The insight is often clouded by poor grammar and incorrect word usage. There are also some points where it feels like there is an overreliance on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. At one point, the book states that women who like “bad boys” have hybristophilia, which is a sexual attraction to people who have committed heinous crimes, like Charles Manson. It’s a pretty big leap from someone who is attracted to a guy on a motorcycle to one who wants to marry a serial killer. Similarly, the book posits that many women who don’t get along with other women have this problem because they suffer from borderline personality disorder.
The core of this book is good. The conversational voice and use of slang make it relatable to many young people who could benefit from SbJ’s insights. If the overreaching psychiatric diagnoses and confusing language were stripped away, the main thesis would no longer be overshadowed and the book would be a strong resource for young people.