Author: Courtney Robertson
Genre: biography, non-fiction
Published: expected June 24, 2014
Source: Publisher via edelweiss
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Courtney Robertson joined season 16 of The Bachelor looking for love. A working model and newly single, Courtney fit the casting call: She was young, beautiful, and a natural in front of the cameras. Although she may have been there for all the right reasons, as the season unfolded and sparks began to fly something else was clear: She was not there to make friends.
Courtney quickly became one of the biggest villains in Bachelor franchise history. She unapologetically pursued her man, steamrolled her competition, and broke the rules—including partaking in an illicit skinny-dip that sealed her proposal. Now, after a very public breakup with her Bachelor, Ben Flajnik, Courtney opens up and tells her own story—from her first loves to her first moments in the limo. She dishes on life before, during, and after the Bachelor, including Ben’s romantic proposal to her on a Swiss mountaintop and the tabloid frenzy that continued after the cameras stopped rolling.
For the first time ever, a former Bachelor contestant takes us along on her journey to find love and reveals that “happily ever after” isn't always what it seems. Complete with stories, tips, tricks, and advice from your favorite Bachelor alumni, and filled with all the juicy details Courtney fans and foes alike want to know, I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends is a must-read for every member of Bachelor nation.
I watched The Bachelorette in 2003 like the rest of America, but I've never been a big fan of The Bachelor series. That's not to say I don't love reality tv or dating shows, I do, but The Bachelor always seemed so stuffy. If I'm going to earn the reputation of loving "trashy" tv, I'm going to earn it. After watching a girl do a shot from another girl's genitals on Rock of Love Bus, what appeal do endless picnics with a vineyard owner hold? But when I heard the biggest villain in Bachelor history was releasing a tell-all? You’d best believe I marathoned season 16.
While Courtney certainly came across as a mean girl on tv, I don’t understand the venom directed at her post-show. The book isn’t really image maintenance, because she never denies saying things like, “how did that taste coming out of your mouth?” or going skinny dipping, but again, maybe it’s because I watch a different class of reality tv, because none of that is that bad. While she’s a little arrogant in writing, I found myself liking Courtney a lot.
As for the memoir, it is ghost-written and the writing is on par with other semi-celebrity books. It briefly touches on Courtney’s childhood before breaking down into stories of dating before, during, and after The Bachelor. Her “I don’t like girls and they don’t like me” schtick wore thin immediately, but for the most part she comes across as a driven, no nonsense person with terrible luck in dating. She doesn’t slam any exes or the other girls, except for a few well documented exceptions. She doesn’t insult those who play the game or call other women names. She dishes a lot of dirt, sexual and otherwise, but she’s not a bitch.
Now, I know what you’re looking for in this review. Dirt. Yes, Courtney dated celebrities before appearing on the show. Yes, she does kiss and tell. The show is real, although we only see a small portion of what’s filmed and most confessionals are filmed later and heavily manipulated through leading questions. Yes, she gives all her thoughts on the other women and Ben. Yep, she’s kissing and telling with him too. Yes, she dated other members of Bachelor Nation after the breakup. Yes, it’s juicy. No, it’s not a particularly balanced account, and no, Ben doesn’t come out looking good, but I did appreciate that he’s not strung up as a monster. He’s just portrayed as a dick who did the show to promote his winery, (duh, I knew that on episode two,) and isn’t a very attentive partner. Sucks.
My real problem with the book was there wasn’t enough time devoted to the show itself. There’s a lot of down time while filming, but some weeks get barely a mention. There’s more information on (a lack of) pooping than there is about the challenges. Courtney tells us that by the end she was really close to the production crew, but never mentions interacting with them. I just felt like it could have been expanded, since I think that’s what a lot of readers are looking for. The other issue was the epilogue, which looks at where everyone mentioned is now. Or rather, last December when the book was written. Now, I understand publishing takes time, but they couldn’t update that before it went to print? Even if that seems long to me, the issue is no one’s anywhere. Everyone’s still looking for love, so it didn’t feel necessary. Though one ex-boyfriend’s entry did make me laugh, so there’s something positive.
I like the book. It’s an easy read, full of gossip and behind the scenes info. It’s probably best to take it with a grain of salt, like reality tv itself, but it’s a great roadtrip or beach book for Bachelor Nation.