Friday, 13 February 2015

Book Review: "I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends" by Courtney Robertson

As we gear up for Hometowns with Bachelor Chris Soules, we all can't get enough of The Bachelor! Here's a fun book to read as you wait for the next episodes. Recaps for Sunday (Iowa) and Monday's (Hometowns) episodes will be up as soon as possible! 

In the meantime, here is the recap for Farmer Chris (Week 6): Kelsey/Ashley 2-on-1 date (click here). Or read this book review!

When I saw that Courtney Robertson had written a tell-all book, I was intrigued. If you don't remember Courtney, she's the model who won Ben Flajnik's season of The Bachelor (Season 16).

Hard to forget

Up until the final rose, Courtney was the consistent frontrunner on Ben’s season. She was also the season’s villain. As the title suggests, she wasn't there to make friends. And friends she did not make. The other women sensed her status with Ben and wanted to throttle her. And thus was born one of the most memorable villains of Bachelor history.

Like the other contestants, Courtney fell for Ben quickly. In retrospect, she can list all the little icky red flags on their journey from engagement, to real-life relationship, to ultimate break-up. On the way, we get also insight into to the tabloid frenzy that ensued after the show. Turns out that being a villain kind of hurts one's modelling career. We also learn about Courtney’s pre- and post-Bachelor relationships, including her trysts with Adrian Grenier from HBO’s Entourage, Jesse Metcalfe from Dallas, and Arie Luyendyk, the race car driver from Emily's season of the Bachelorette.

I'm happy to report that Courtney's offering is compulsively readable. To the delight of Bachelor fans everywhere, she doesn’t mind kissing and telling. Fans will also appreciate the inside scoop about the Bachelor interview process, filming/editing, and living conditions.

I really liked her recaps of the season's memorable moments - like the time Ben and Courtney went skinny-dipping in Puerto Rico. She also caused controversy when they went to an indigenous village - all the contestants were asked to wear revealing beaded tops, but Courtney was the only one who didn't have a bikini top underneath. Also, we hear about the fake wedding she planned for Ben on her hometown date. Did you know that Courtney really didn't like the dress and gloves she had to wear to the proposal? The producers gave her limited choices and that's what she was stuck with. And yes, she had to return the ring.

Courtney goes for the jugular when discussing the other contestants: Remember Lindzi (who she calls horsey), Emily (Courtney hates her), and Blakeley (the one she called a "stripper")? Who knows where the real truth lies, but I was so entertained that I didn't really care. 

As a Bachelor viewer, I found this to be the perfect light read. Courtney says what she thinks and no one is spared. She’s not diplomatic, but that’s what makes this book so much fun. Some people may not like her character (she's a Reality TV villain after all), but you can't help but appreciate her frankness – and her propensity toward TMI. Her sense of humour comes out better in the book than it did on the show. 

As a Bonus, Courtney enticed other Bachelor/Bachelorette alumni to write little sections in the book. You gotta invite the Bachelor family to all events, right? Only Chris Harrison and the producers themselves are missing. I do wonder if she had to run it by them prior to publishing. 

Do bring this book to the beach, read it on the bus, or curl up with it on the couch wiih a nice glass of merlot. Bonus points if you read it with a bottle from Ben's own vineyard. But any red would do. 

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