Score: 93 out of 100 (9.3/10)
“No Perfect Love” is just about the perfect self-help relationship book!
Of the short non-fiction books we've come by in 2022, this is certainly one of the best! There's just something about how Dr. Alyson Nerenberg is able to take things as mundane as case studies and make them so interesting and compelling. This book is short yet dense. There are lessons to be learned at every flip of the page. There's hardly any wasted space in this whole book. Everything is either insightful, interesting, and/or useful to the reader. And that's probably the books greatest strength: it's shear usefulness and practicality. We really believe this book can change lives. It can save relationships. It can save marriages. It can keep families together. Those are huge stakes and implications. There is tremendous value on every page.
In some of the cooler sections of this book, Dr. Nerenberg shares her work with celebrities (while maintaining confidentiality and anonymity of course). These celebrities seemingly have the world and yet still struggle with many of the same personal issues that normal people face. Some of these problems are rooted in the client not being able to forgive themselves or others, letting the past consume their present, being caught in a pattern that perpetuates poor outcomes, or falling into alcoholism or substance abuse as a coping mechanism or crutch. We all know someone (or are someone) who suffers from one or more of these things.
To go on a slight tangent, how many self-help books these days feature the idea of letting go, reframing the idea of “give up,” or just “not giving a $&#@?” We've noticed a lot of those lately. And, yes, they sell. And, yes, they have their value. However, Dr. Nerenberg and her book are different: they have a much more positive way of looking at and facing problems. At the same time, Dr. Nerenberg is far from idealistic and far from overly-optimistic. In fact, one of the strengths of “No Perfect Love” is that it accepts the objective truth that no person or relationship is perfect or without flaws. The fairy-tale endings and outcomes we see in Disney movies are not the least bit realistic. You don't marry the perfect person and live a perfect life indefinitely. There are bumps in the road as well as twists and turns. And, as divorce and separation become the norm rather than the exception, these bumps, twists, and turns lead to people giving up on their relationships prematurely when remedies and alternatives may have been available to them.
This book even provides little exercises for you to practice or reflect on what you've learned from each section.
This book's only real drawback so far is that the formatting is still rough. It doesn't appear ready for publication just yet. Unfortunately, we're forced to compare it to other non-fiction entries that are already extremely well-formatted and refined. Otherwise, the grammar is excellent. The writing is eloquent yet understandable. Just about everything about the book seems to hit the way it should.
There are so many passages in this that are so beautiful that they should be in a fantasy novel. For example, Dr. Nerenberg says that the road of each relationship is beautiful and crooked. She also says that 90% of life is just showing up! There's truth to each of these statements. The obsession for perfection can be crippling. We perpetually overthink and idealize situations, people, and our relationships. We forget that life sucks sometimes, but that's life, and by our efforts and our way of thinking, we can still make it the best life possible. If we continue to play the victim and blame our significant others or our circumstances for everything that goes wrong, then we're limiting ourselves and setting ourselves up for disappointment and failure.
“No Perfect Love” is the perfect book for you to own if you want a reputable source to talk you through navigating the bumpy, twisty, winding road that relationships can be.
Check out Dr. Alyson Nerenberg's work below!