Saturday, February 27, 2010

Book Review: U Got 2 Love

Ok, I have to admit when I was perusing the selection of books available on the list for The Catholic Company's Book Reviewer program, that I hesitated before taking the plunge and giving U Got 2 Love a whirl. For one, I pretty much abhor texting language. Send me an email, text or IM that uses "u" instead of you or even worse "ur" for your and I likely won't acknowledge that I ever got it. I'll turn a partially blind eye to LOL or my personal favorite ROTFLOL (When I read it aloud I can't help but think of Scooby Doo.) but, for the most part I'm too much of a grammar snob to conform to text lingo. So the title of U Got 2 Love put me off a bit. I did a little online searching on the author, and found some YouTube videos. Turns out, Fr. Stan Fortuna is a pretty cool guy. I decided I could look past the U and 2 in the title and give the book a chance.

I have mixed feelings about this book. The grammar snob in me hated the book. If you've ever heard Fr. Stan talk (just google him and check out a YouTube video) you'll see that he drops the g's in a lot of -ing words. When speaking, that doesn't bother me all that much. However, when you also write like that, it's enough to make someone like me want to slam their head against a wall.....repeatedly. If you are like me, and you pick up on typos and then fixate on them, this book is certainly not for you. To be fair, Fr. Stan does tell you in the introduction that he purposely left the g's off of words because that's how he speaks and he wanted the book to sound like him linguistically. I'm sure this drove the poor proofreader insane, not to mention this poor reviewer.

Now the book itself, wasn't bad. It's certainly not a fast read. Fr. Stan takes quotes from Pope John Paul II, Pope Benidict XVI and various saints and explains to the reader why it is essential that we love. This book is not light reading. Maybe it's the dropped g's that made me feel this way, but I found this book to be very heavy on the theological philosophical. He explains many of the considerations (there are 33 in all) of why "U got 2 love" very well. There were a few considerations where I felt like his explanation was just going around in circles and I found myself on the verge of "spiritual indigestion" (St. Augustine, anyone?). Aside from the dropped g's, I think the book was actually well done and it will force you to think. It would be a decent Lenten read.

Given that the dropped g's drove me nutty, I have to say that my favorite portion of the book was the compilation of quotes at the end of the book called "The Love Zone." I'm not sure I would have selected that as the title for this portion of the book, but it's not my book. I found the quotes contained in this section to be inspirational and thought provoking. And best of all, no dropped g's!

I take issue with the fact that this book is supposed to be geared to teens. I suppose if the teens in question are reading on a college level then sure, it's for teens. Personally, I'm not buying it. I wouldn't run out and buy this for a 7th or 8th grader who's being confirmed. The book will be too lofty for them. I teach a 7th grade CCD class and I seriously doubt that any of those kids would be able to easily read this book now or within the next year. Not to mention much of vocabulary is on what I would consider a college level. This would probably be a great book for a young adult group. In our parish, the young adult group is for 18-25 year olds. I think this book would be perfect for that age range.

As an aside, I don't suppose it wouldn't be in the spirit of love if I sent Fr. Stan a box with a bunch of g's and a little note saying "I thought maybe you could use these," would it?

This book review has been brought to you by the letter G. Remember kids, G's are letters, too!

Actually, this book review was written as part of the Catholic Book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on U Got 2 Love.

A complimentary copy of U Got 2 Love (complete with missing g's) was provided to me by The Catholic Company in exchange for my honest review.

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