Some people read smutty celebrity tell-alls when they're on beach holidays, but I read them when I have a cold. Getting sick gives me an excuse to curl up on the couch and watch the worst of reality TV ( I'm talking Toddlers & Tiaras and Sister Wives) or in this case, read trashy books like I'm Not Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain by former Bachelor contestant, Courtney Robertson and her co-writer, Deb Baer. This is as trashy as it gets people, trust me.
PLOT - Print model and Arizona native, Courtney Robertson decided to apply for the Bachelor on a lark, having a crush on former contestant, Ben Flajnik, a Sonoma Valley winemaker, who had his heart broken on the previous season. The show has a tradition of using runners-up to be the next Bachelor or Bachelorette, so Robertson was fairly certain that she would have an opportunity to fight for Flajnik's affections, if she applied. Sure enough, he was the next bachelor and Robertson was picked for the show.
From the first night of filming, Robertson did not mesh with a majority of the other contestants. Her sarcastic sense of humor intensified and she quickly became the villain of the show, seeming cold and aloof, while further irking the other girls as Flajnik started falling for Robertson. Ultimately, she won the show and the engagement. After the show, their love life was less than romantic. Robertson reveals a different side to Flajnik, one that she experienced once the cameras stopped tracking their every move. She also exposes secrets and scandals of other contestants, while examining her own issues.
LIKE - This book was a fun read. Yes, it's trashy and a piece of fluff, but sometimes those types of books hit the spot. I've only watched two seasons of the Bachelor/Bachelorette and they both happen to be the seasons with Flajnik. My aunt was a huge fan of the show and there was nothing more entertaining than Courtney Robertson's snide comments. She played the character that everyone loved to hate. We didn't want her to win, but we certainly wanted her kept around, because she made that season a must-see. What I enjoyed about this book was all of the behind the scenes insight to the show, in particular how they film certain segments and the effort that goes into a big reality TV production, like the Bachelor.
DISLIKE - I honestly would have thought that through this book, Robertson would have come across as more likable. She's wishy-washy, vacillating between the character of the bitchy villain and wanting to be liked. I do believe that most of what we saw on the show was her playing a character, but then this book just seemed like an extension of her wanting to continue her fifteen minutes of fame. I question her motives for writing this book. In many parts, it's as if she wants us to feel sorry for her and understand that she is really a nice person, but then she throws in really personal information regarding the hook-ups between various former contestants, which comes across as a really low-blow move. She also brags about her many Hollywood conquests, while saying that she doesn't want to reveal too much or hurt their image. Which is it?
She straddled the fence through the whole book and it would have been a more satisfying read if she just went all out in one direction or the other. Either make us understand the real you or just be that character that you created. It felt disingenuous to read this book, but not feel like I was getting a truthful side to Robertson. It felt manipulative and truthfully, I don't think that it was intentional. I think this split-personality story is more a result of poor writing and editing.
RECOMMEND - If you're a fan of the show, yes. I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends is an entertaining book if you know about the other contestants and if you watched the seasons. If you've not seen the show, it will be a confusing mess. This is really for the fans.