I Didn’t Come Here To Make Friends: Confessions Of A Reality Show Villain, by Courtney Robertson with Deb Baer
I’m not sure that I could be considered a member of Bachelor Nation, although I was called it at least once while reading this book by someone I knew, who was somewhat surprised at it. This is certainly not the first time I have read books related to reality television shows I have only been somewhat familiar with, for I find reality television to be immensely fascinating even though I do not really watch much television at all . At any rate, while this is a far earthier book than I would ever write and than I usually read, the book clearly is written in a way that makes it at least somewhat appealing even to someone who did not watch her season of the Bachelor and was unfamiliar with her as a person. It is easy to see why a beautiful and daring and intense woman who was driven to get her man and not inclined to get along with jealous and envious haters or to filter her wit and humor would be fairly easy to turn into a reality television villain and be viewed and treated unfairly.
This book is a memoir, and by all accounts a fairly successful one. A relatively uneducated woman who chose modeling as a career and is remarkably candid about her upbringing as well as about her combination between romantic longings and a sense of cynicism about men, the author is a compelling figure and her cowriter has the talent to let the author’s personality shine through while also making it a coherent narrative. In many ways the book follows a fairly tried and true formula that is no less enjoyable for it being tried and true, beginning with an introduction to the family background and childhood and pre-fame young adulthood of the author, including a time of what the author delicately calls star****ing, and then moving on to dish about the author’s season of the Bachelor giving a recap from her point of view, and then discussing how her life changed afterwards and dishing about the failure of her relationship with her fiance. The book ends in a suitably optimistic tone with the hope for future love as well as beliefs that career success can come despite some hard times immediately after the show made her a hated woman for her candor and her lack of collegiality with her fellow competitors on the Bachelor.
Ultimately, this book unintentionally shines a bad light on several aspects of the author’s life and behavior. For one, the author’s mother really did not set her up for success at love in railing against men the way that she did. Over and over again, and this is a pattern that has lasted after the period when this book was published, the author has found herself in relationships with men who were a bit leery about going to the altar. Do they really just not see her as the marrying kind? The book also paints the show in a bad light, showing how the structure of the show and the immature mindset of many of the people on it tend to set people up for failure by encouraging people to keep their options open and shy away from real commitment and also lead on a lot of people. These are not the sort of habits that lead to success. This memoir is a picture of how an attractive woman of fairly ordinary and common morality was set up to look like an evil woman and has found herself in an environment where she is not likely to find many people worth marrying, or who would likely see her as worth marrying as damaged goods. This is deeply unfortunate.
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