For Young Men Only - Book Review

From time to time, Multnomah sends me advanced copies or new releases of books to review. It's a neat partnership. They get a little bit of discussion started about books they're publishing, and I get a free book to read before anyone else.

The latest free book on my desk is a book called "For Young Men Only, a Guy's Guide to the Alien Gender" by Jeff Feldhahn and Eric Rice. It's a book aimed at junior high and high schoolers in an attempt to help them figure out the creatures from Venus who sit next to them in class.

Honestly, when I got the book I didn't know the intended audience. I was expecting a book for young men like me - not young men who have only been driving for a year or two. But by page two I had the audience figured out, and decided to stick with it while being a bit skeptical. See, as a youth pastor for several years I used to loathe the new book on girls for high school guys (or vice versa). The vast majority of the books written "for" high schoolers are written at about a middle school level. The vast majority of the books written for middle schoolers are books my 6-week old might be interested in. And the vast majority of books on dating for teenagers are either cheesy, legalistic, or completely unhelpful. For Young Men Only is a very nice exception to "the vast majority."

Though the book is written by two middle-aged guys, the gratuitous "try-to-be-cool-so-the-teenagers-think-I-speak-their-language" lingo is at a minimum. The book is honest, straight-forward, and has some really good information.

The book is based on interviews and surveys of more than a thousand teenage girls concerning what exactly they're looking for in a guy. Feldhahn and Rice take the reader through a discussion of "why ordinary guys have a real chance with great girls," and have a chance of winning her heart even above the guy in school who looks like an Abercrombie model. They talk about why girls are attracted to the "bad boys," and how good guys can keep the sense of adventure without sacrificing their integrity. They break the "code" of baffling female behavior, and discuss how to keep from getting crushed by a girl. A chapter is devoted to communication skills, and another chapter to sex, before the authors summarize the book with a chapter reminding guys that character counts.

This book is completely accessible for middle school or high school guys, and isn't anything like the awkward birds-and-bees book you gave them a few years ago. They'll walk away with an honest grasp of what girls want, and how they can be confident in who God created them to be without trying to be like some other guy.

The book is written from a Christian perspective, although young men who read it won't feel as though they've been Bible-beaten by the principles in the book. In fact, more often than not the authors point to their surveys with girls as evidence something is a good idea rather than pointing explicitly to the Bible. That's okay though. This book isn't a Bible Study. It's a practical guide to understanding girls that will augment young men's understanding of Biblical Truth concerning relationships with the opposite sex, and give practical evidence that girls really do want a man with godly traits and character.

If you've got a teenage son, grandson, nephew, or friend, For Young Men Only needs to be under the Christmas tree this year. They'll never tell you they read it, but they will, and will be uber-thankful. I absolutely wish I had read this book when I was in junior high. It would have saved me a lot of heartache, and would have helped me catch that cheerleader I was chasing all those years.


C&P McKinzie said...

FYI: "For Women Only" by Shaunti Feldhahn is a great book as well. Her book takes the same approach, with powerful statistics and surveys, with a supportive undercurrent of Biblical truth. Of all the books I read during my single, dating, and engagement years, the material in Feldhahn's book was some of the most helpful. And the fact that I actually remember anything from her book says it's good, since unfortunately, I remember very little of what I read.

chloeadele said...

anything in there about how us females can say one thing about ourselves one week and then say something else the next week and feel like we believe both things completely?

I have found that it's nearly impossible for me to define my wants and needs. I have yet to discover them in absolute terms. So for me to take a survey and then have that info used to describe me is useless.

maybe it's just me. but if there's anything in there that would help hubby deal with my ever-changing ME, please do share.