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Nobody's Cuter Than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship

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There is nothing as precious in life as a friend who knows you and loves you in spite of yourself. Yet over the last couple of decades, we've substituted the joy of real friendship with cheap imitations. We settle for "community" on Facebook and Twitter and a series of text messages that allow us to communicate with someone without the commitment. We like each other's beau There is nothing as precious in life as a friend who knows you and loves you in spite of yourself. Yet over the last couple of decades, we've substituted the joy of real friendship with cheap imitations. We settle for "community" on Facebook and Twitter and a series of text messages that allow us to communicate with someone without the commitment. We like each other's beautifully filtered photos on Instagram and delude ourselves into believing we have a community. But real friendship requires effort. It's showing up, laughing loud, and crying hard. It's forgiving and loving and giving the benefit of the doubt. It's making a casserole, doing a carpool pickup, and making sure she knows those cute shoes are 50 percent off. Written in the same comedic style as the New York Times bestsellers Sparkly Green Earrings and The Antelope in the Living Room, Nobody's Cuter than You is a laugh-out-loud look at the special bond that exists between friends and a poignant celebration of all the extraordinary people God had the good sense to bring into our lives at exactly the right moments. From the friendships we develop over a lifetime to the ones that wounded us and the ones that taught us to love better, Melanie Shankle reveals the influence our friends have on who we were, who we are, and who we will become. And on a day when our jeans feel too tight, our chins have decided to embrace hormone-related acne reminiscent of our teen years, and our kids have tested the limits of our sanity, they are the ones who will look at us and say, "Nobody's cuter than you!"


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There is nothing as precious in life as a friend who knows you and loves you in spite of yourself. Yet over the last couple of decades, we've substituted the joy of real friendship with cheap imitations. We settle for "community" on Facebook and Twitter and a series of text messages that allow us to communicate with someone without the commitment. We like each other's beau There is nothing as precious in life as a friend who knows you and loves you in spite of yourself. Yet over the last couple of decades, we've substituted the joy of real friendship with cheap imitations. We settle for "community" on Facebook and Twitter and a series of text messages that allow us to communicate with someone without the commitment. We like each other's beautifully filtered photos on Instagram and delude ourselves into believing we have a community. But real friendship requires effort. It's showing up, laughing loud, and crying hard. It's forgiving and loving and giving the benefit of the doubt. It's making a casserole, doing a carpool pickup, and making sure she knows those cute shoes are 50 percent off. Written in the same comedic style as the New York Times bestsellers Sparkly Green Earrings and The Antelope in the Living Room, Nobody's Cuter than You is a laugh-out-loud look at the special bond that exists between friends and a poignant celebration of all the extraordinary people God had the good sense to bring into our lives at exactly the right moments. From the friendships we develop over a lifetime to the ones that wounded us and the ones that taught us to love better, Melanie Shankle reveals the influence our friends have on who we were, who we are, and who we will become. And on a day when our jeans feel too tight, our chins have decided to embrace hormone-related acne reminiscent of our teen years, and our kids have tested the limits of our sanity, they are the ones who will look at us and say, "Nobody's cuter than you!"

30 review for Nobody's Cuter Than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    I absolutely loved this book. I found myself both laughing out loud, and crying. Throughout the whole book I found myself thinking about my true friendships and how much they mean to me. (Even the shitty friends and the lessons learned from those bad friendships.) She made me wish that I was her friend and part of her circle of friends. Read it...and then give it to each of your friends to read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Keller

    Definitely sentimental, but easy to read and funny. The book left me feeling grateful for all of the wonderful women I have in my life and deeply appreciative for the gift of friendship. It was a good reminder of how friendships enrich our lives and make us better people.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Lancaster

    Memoir Melanie Shankle Nobody’s Cuter than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers Softcover, 978-1-4143-9748-1 (also available as ebook and audio) 256 pages, $15.99 April 7, 2015 Nobody’s Cuter than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship is San Antonio mom and blogger Melanie Shankle’s third book and third memoir. Inspired by watching her daughter navigate junior high friendships, Nobody’s Cuter considers the evolution of childhood friendships and Memoir Melanie Shankle Nobody’s Cuter than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers Softcover, 978-1-4143-9748-1 (also available as ebook and audio) 256 pages, $15.99 April 7, 2015 Nobody’s Cuter than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship is San Antonio mom and blogger Melanie Shankle’s third book and third memoir. Inspired by watching her daughter navigate junior high friendships, Nobody’s Cuter considers the evolution of childhood friendships and recounts the history of the author and her best friend, Gulley. They met at Texas A&M University and have been inseparable for twenty-five years. Shankle writes with simple prose and gentle, self-deprecating humor about college, boyfriends, first jobs, husbands and the challenges of rookie moms. Nobody’s Cuter is packed with pop culture (one chapter is titled “The Chapter with More than Its Share of 80’s References.”) spanning four decades, from The Bionic Woman to Justin Timberlake, which invokes an enjoyable nostalgia for the days when we, too, played Charlie’s Angels all over the neighborhood. Or was that just me? I digress. Shankle wants us to engage in actually being there for each other, not settling for the “community” represented by Facebook and Twitter. She tells us that, “Real friendship requires effort. It’s showing up and laughing loud and crying hard” not merely “…liking one another’s beautifully filtered photos on Instagram and deluding ourselves into believing we have community.” There are two sides to every element in Nobody’s Cuter. For each wryly funny observation (“…Caroline is our only child and if we screw this up, no one will come to visit us for Christmas when we’re old.”) there is another that’s merely silly (“We don’t have a backup plan, unless you count our dogs, and everyone knows that dogs are the worst gift givers at holidays.”) For each moment when I was truly touched (as when Gulley offers to go spend the night with a distraught Caroline who is away at camp for the first time) there was a tangent which the author freely admits has nothing to do with what she was writing about. Each hard-won bit of advice (“…while it’s been said that comparison is the thief of joy, I’ll add that it can also be a destroyer of relationships.”) is followed by a cliché (“…sometimes the best lessons are the ones that hurt the most”). Shankle’s relationship with God is a major theme of Nobody’s Cuter and this also has two sides. She credits God for breaking up one of her friendships because “…there was talk of drinking and parties on the weekends…” and she “…was in no way strong enough to stand up to peer pressure…” This begs the question of why God chose to spare Shankle but not her friend. I’m calling Nobody’s Cuter “Chick Memoir.” If you’re looking for an original read that challenges you or prose that sparks your imagination then look elsewhere. If you’re looking for comfort in something light and sweet then Nobody’s Cuter might be for you. Review originally published in Lone Star Literary Life.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    “Some roads we travel in life can feel like the ones that might break us, but that’s why God surrounds us with people who will cheer us on and wipe our tears and listen as we pour out our hearts. Because often it’s not what you say but what you do that really matters.” Right after finishing this book, I wanted to show up at all of my girlfriend’s houses and hug them. The only thing that stopped me is the fact that we live in 5 different states (although one is my roommate!), so I’ll settle for Sk “Some roads we travel in life can feel like the ones that might break us, but that’s why God surrounds us with people who will cheer us on and wipe our tears and listen as we pour out our hearts. Because often it’s not what you say but what you do that really matters.” Right after finishing this book, I wanted to show up at all of my girlfriend’s houses and hug them. The only thing that stopped me is the fact that we live in 5 different states (although one is my roommate!), so I’ll settle for Skype calls instead. But y’all – this book is a must! This book had me laughing a ton, crying and once again reminded of the incredible beauty of friendship. If you are female and you have friends, then you need to read this book! In her classic humor, Melanie shares her honest struggles early on of fitting in, finding your friend soul mates and how they become a part of you and are with you every step of the way – the good, the bad and the heart breaking. She’s honest, she’s real and I loved how she was able to express so much of what I feel towards my girlfriends! “Having you soul knit to another isn’t for the faint of heart. It means you bear your own hurts along with those of your friend. You cry when she cries and laugh when she laughs and come up with plots to kill someone who causes her any pain. You love harder, laugh louder, live richer, and become more together than you could ever be by yourself. Soul knitting is putting your heart and your name in the hands of another person and saying, “I trust you with all of this” and having that person do that same.” (64) It’s so important to have those girlfriends in your life. I don’t know what I’d do without mine. Even though many of my closest girlfriends are states away, they have truly shaped me into the woman I am. And as Melanie shared some of her crazy stories, I couldn’t help but crack up thinking of some of mine. It reminded me of an e-card I saw once that said “We can never stop being friends, you know too much.” Ain’t that the truth? So if you couldn’t tell, I loved every page and highly recommend. There’s even awesome appendices! I want to give a copy to all my friends – and I probably will : ) Oh, and y’all she quotes Tollers and Jake (in case you don’t share my obsession, that’s what Tolkien and Lewis called each other). What more could have sealed the deal of the awesomeness of this book than quoting those two? Do you live close to your best friend? Ooo and what are some of your favorite stories of friendship? (Thank you to Tyndale for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review) Originally posted at http://booksandbeverages.org/2015/04/...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Julie Hatch

    "A good friend will love you, support you and cheer you on. A good friend doesn't make you feel inadequate or like you're not good enough. A good friend won't dump you when someone better comes along or ask you to compromise who you are and what you believe." Filled with pearls of wisdom & stories reminiscent of my college days with lifelong soul sisters, this book made me laugh until I snorted & cry with my whole soul. A gift from one of my dearest friends, this now dog-eared memoire will hold "A good friend will love you, support you and cheer you on. A good friend doesn't make you feel inadequate or like you're not good enough. A good friend won't dump you when someone better comes along or ask you to compromise who you are and what you believe." Filled with pearls of wisdom & stories reminiscent of my college days with lifelong soul sisters, this book made me laugh until I snorted & cry with my whole soul. A gift from one of my dearest friends, this now dog-eared memoire will hold a permanent spot on my shelves & in my heart.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    In my personal opinion, memoir needs to invoke universal feeling- a connection above the day to day relating of events. It needs to have a strong voice. This read more like a hallmark card to me and was repetitive in its limited insight. I admire the friendship described but didn't feel like this contributed anything new to the genre.

  7. 4 out of 5

    MacKenzie

    I loved this book! (The audiobook was fabulous!) by taking readers through her own history of friendship, Melanie points out what real friendship is and I truly walked away feeling like I had just gone to therapy! Funny as all get out while heartfelt and honest. I highly recommend that all women listen to this book and pray for the kinds of friendships it describes.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dezi Allen

    Boring. I don't know who wants to read a description of a normal girl's childhood. It could be the story of a million other girls. And there wasn't any build-up or drama that kept me wanting to read more.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    The author admits she didn't study much in college and after reading this I know she wasn't kidding!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Leandra

    This book will have you laughing! She truly celebrated female friendship! Made me want to hug all my friends. 3 Takeaways 1. Take your kids with your best friend's kids on crazy road trips with a loose agenda! 2. Drinking Big gulps of coke 4x a day will increase your waist size 3. Make xmas shopping fun and set earliest December weekend aside to shop with your best friend for all the family presents then wrap the gifts staying up all night catching up with your girl friend. 1 more! 4. Take more road t This book will have you laughing! She truly celebrated female friendship! Made me want to hug all my friends. 3 Takeaways 1. Take your kids with your best friend's kids on crazy road trips with a loose agenda! 2. Drinking Big gulps of coke 4x a day will increase your waist size 3. Make xmas shopping fun and set earliest December weekend aside to shop with your best friend for all the family presents then wrap the gifts staying up all night catching up with your girl friend. 1 more! 4. Take more road trips!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    I received this book courtesy of Christian Audio for the purpose of writing a review. Narrator Thoughts ~ I always like author read books. They add so much more to the book than anyone else could. Melanie has a nice clear voice with a beautiful southern draw. Living through these events, she is able to add a special tone to this reading. It was a good listen. Book Thoughts ~ Friendship is one of the things that is near and dear to my heart. I enjoyed hearing her stories and advice about friendshi I received this book courtesy of Christian Audio for the purpose of writing a review. Narrator Thoughts ~ I always like author read books. They add so much more to the book than anyone else could. Melanie has a nice clear voice with a beautiful southern draw. Living through these events, she is able to add a special tone to this reading. It was a good listen. Book Thoughts ~ Friendship is one of the things that is near and dear to my heart. I enjoyed hearing her stories and advice about friendship. It is so important to cultivate deep lifelong friendships. Her humorous and heartfelt storytelling drove this home. Her ending advice in the appendixes was very good. One thing that I didn't like was how hard she was on social media. I understand that it can become a substitute for the real thing. I understand that many people don't cultivate deep real friendships anymore. However I also have used Facebook to connect and stay in touch with many friends that I never would be able to. I think it's wrong to assume that social media is a killer of all friendships. It is a tool. You can use it for harm or good. I choose to use it for good. She does tell many heartwarming stories about her friends. However I would have like to have heard more about her salvation story. How it impacted the friendships in her life. How God moved the hearts of her friends. Despite some of the things that we might disagree on personally, Melanie is a good storyteller and a good speaker. She helps you to remember those good childhood friends, your daring high school friends, and the beauty of the friends that you have made now that you are an adult. This book did remind me of the great gifts I have in my circle of friends. You can get this book on Amazon and Christian Audio.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

    Originally posted on https://bookshelvesandwindows.wordpre... This memoir about friendship is a combination of everything I was looking for: laughter, heart, and sentimental stories that remind us what friendship looks like. Melanie Shankle has a unique kind of humor, which just leaps off the pages as you read. I found myself laughing several times throughout her book, even pausing a few times before I could continue reading: it’s just that funny! I loved the quotes about friendship that marked th Originally posted on https://bookshelvesandwindows.wordpre... This memoir about friendship is a combination of everything I was looking for: laughter, heart, and sentimental stories that remind us what friendship looks like. Melanie Shankle has a unique kind of humor, which just leaps off the pages as you read. I found myself laughing several times throughout her book, even pausing a few times before I could continue reading: it’s just that funny! I loved the quotes about friendship that marked the beginning of each new chapter, and the fun chapter titles that gave you a preview into what Melanie would be talking about next. I got an overwhelming sense of the wonderful friendships she has had in her past and present, and how each of them has shaped her life in one way or another. It’s true, too, how people change us. Our friends become part of who we are and how we live, and Melanie gives us a glimpse into how her friends have made her life better, richer, and fuller. This book makes me want to hug my friends tight and tell them how important they are to me. The laughs are just as important as those hard moments. And friendship is about the fun times, the hard times, and the moments that shape us into the people we are today. *Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers who has provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ginger

    If you're from the South, and have lots of good girlfriends (which I am and I do), you'll probably enjoy this. If not, it doesn't have much to instruct, other than the obvious (show up for your friends), and you'll probably get sick of all the Aggie football, sorority girl, Diamond Darling plather. A bit rambley... Heavy laden with current and 80's pop-culture references (SO many mentions of Pinterest and Urban Cowboy). It was a fun, light read. It's the mommy blog book of the moment, but no one' If you're from the South, and have lots of good girlfriends (which I am and I do), you'll probably enjoy this. If not, it doesn't have much to instruct, other than the obvious (show up for your friends), and you'll probably get sick of all the Aggie football, sorority girl, Diamond Darling plather. A bit rambley... Heavy laden with current and 80's pop-culture references (SO many mentions of Pinterest and Urban Cowboy). It was a fun, light read. It's the mommy blog book of the moment, but no one's going to be reading this in a year or two, so if you miss it, no worries (for a more timeless treatise on friendship, read Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett). Half a dozen scripture references sprinkled in... And lots of antics about fourty-year old women toilet-paper rolling their friends houses for Shankle's take on what friendship is. The absolute best part is the appendix, where Gulley and Mel (the friends) share some of their shorthand, inside joke friend lingo. The title "Nobody's cuter than you" comes from something they say to each other when one of them is having a bad day. Some of these are just plain funny. I'm totally adopting "Nobody’s sad when your dog dies except you" and "If you marry a fool, then you slowly become a fool" and "Kinfolk, you did that." It did make me want to call up a few girlfriends and just giggle with them and tell them I was thankful and maybe start plotting our next road trip.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Can't decide between 3/3.5, so I opted to give it a 4 for it's premise and openness. Melanie's memoir literally takes you through her whole life and the friendships she's had, from childhood through high school through college through today. She's reflected on how those friendships, some of which have come and gone, have reflected the woman she is today and the type of friend she is to other women. A few quotes that stood out for me: For every thing you may envy about a friend, she probably has an Can't decide between 3/3.5, so I opted to give it a 4 for it's premise and openness. Melanie's memoir literally takes you through her whole life and the friendships she's had, from childhood through high school through college through today. She's reflected on how those friendships, some of which have come and gone, have reflected the woman she is today and the type of friend she is to other women. A few quotes that stood out for me: For every thing you may envy about a friend, she probably has an equal number of things she could envy about you. And while it's been said that comparison is the thief of joy, I'll add that it can also be a destroyer of relationships. (p. 53) You hear so many people talk about finding their soul mates only in relation to who they marry, but I think that, as women, our real soul mates are often found when we recognize some version of ourselves in someone else. (p. 63) But that's the beauty of walking through life with a friend. When you realize that one stage might be ending and another one beginning, she helps you look at the bright side. (p. 158)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    Bookclub pick for June. Cute story about friendship. One of my friends listened to it and I really think that's the way to go for this book. It's read by the author and I think it would add so much more; actually hearing her tell the stories and getting some of the real emotion behind them. Actually reading the book felt like talking to someone a mile a minute/ hardly ever taking a breath the entire time. I felt like I needed to put a lot of energy into reading because she's just so enthusiastic Bookclub pick for June. Cute story about friendship. One of my friends listened to it and I really think that's the way to go for this book. It's read by the author and I think it would add so much more; actually hearing her tell the stories and getting some of the real emotion behind them. Actually reading the book felt like talking to someone a mile a minute/ hardly ever taking a breath the entire time. I felt like I needed to put a lot of energy into reading because she's just so enthusiastic. While I don't necessarily identify with the daily interaction sort of friendships- I do value my friends..more and more as I get older and realize they really do make life more fun and help me through tough spots! It was fun to reflect back on past and present friendships and feel grateful for the people I can count as friends!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I would have rated this much higher but I had difficulty with the many references to the bible. This book was not what I expected, I chose to read this book after seeing a Pioneer Woman post about it and didn't research too much but after reading the description felt like it had to be good. It is obvious that the authors religion is important to her and that she credits her relationship with Christ as a catalyst to her strong friendships. The religious undertones did not resonate with me in the I would have rated this much higher but I had difficulty with the many references to the bible. This book was not what I expected, I chose to read this book after seeing a Pioneer Woman post about it and didn't research too much but after reading the description felt like it had to be good. It is obvious that the authors religion is important to her and that she credits her relationship with Christ as a catalyst to her strong friendships. The religious undertones did not resonate with me in the way I think it would with other readers who passionately discuss Christianity. Overall, if you are looking for a feel good book about friendship and girlfriends, this was a good read but be prepared for several bible verses and use of God as an example.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    I immensely enjoy Melanie Shankle's writing style and the heart of her stories. This book was wonderful- it made me long for a Gulley-type friend who lives across the street and with whom I share every day and most details of life. But it is also a reminder of how thankful I am to have dear, dear friends in my life. I am blessed. I did feel like the sentiments at the end of each chapter were repeated over and over. Good sentiments, good stories, but the conclusions felt the same every time. Over I immensely enjoy Melanie Shankle's writing style and the heart of her stories. This book was wonderful- it made me long for a Gulley-type friend who lives across the street and with whom I share every day and most details of life. But it is also a reminder of how thankful I am to have dear, dear friends in my life. I am blessed. I did feel like the sentiments at the end of each chapter were repeated over and over. Good sentiments, good stories, but the conclusions felt the same every time. Overall, an enjoyable read!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marlene Hekkert

    I enjoyed how Melanie Shankle explored all of her friendships that shaped her - from the time she was a little girl until now - as it prompted me to reflect on my early friendships as well. There weren't as many nuggets of wisdom that were shared as in previous books, but I certainly appreciated her humor and authenticity. And, she made me want to go out and get a huge Diet Coke and go shopping with a close friend.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nmew

    Friendships....some friends are just passing through while others are for life. I enjoyed reading this memoir. She writes in an honest and down to earth style that embraces life's joyful and sad times. As I read it brought me back to friends I have had at various stages of my life. Memories!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Thompson

    If I hadn't had to sleep I would have finished this in a day. I loved the humor and sarcasm. The honesty. The sadness. Melanie writes about friendships and the friends she's made and lost in her lifetime. The whole time I was reading I was thinking of the women in my life I consider friends and the experiences we've had and what I wouldn't do to help them and be there for them in my own way.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    As with the Melanie Shankle's previous books, I laughed out loud, cried and laughed until I cried. She is a brilliant writer whose blog, Big Mama, I read religiously. I appreciate her honesty and sentiment and love to follow her journey. Can't wait for her next book!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Susan Kendrick

    It was cute! A fun, sweet testament to the power of enduring friendship with lots of references to fads and fashions embraced by someone born in the early 1970s. Makes you want to call up a girlfriend and plan a road trip.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Such a sweet, funny book. It made me reminisce about my friendships through the years...and served as good motivation to cherish and invest in my friendships right now.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Denise Stephens

    This is a great fast read on the wonder and necessity of girl friends in our lives. Melanie and I appear to have the same love for pop culture and our mutual friend Jen

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Mcbroom

    Touching memoir of close friendship peppered with inspirational quotes. Not a 'dark', cynical material like I usually read but I enjoyed it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Eskelson

    This is a darling memoir about friendship. Fun, chuckle worthy and lighthearted. Loved it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ali Fisher

    "That's how you know your true friends: you hear their laughter and look into their eyes, and it feels like coming home." ❤️

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    Made me laugh, made me cry, made me want to call my best friends ASAP! I can't wait to see what Melanie will cover next

  29. 4 out of 5

    Regan W

    A funny, sweet look at friendship. Recommend for anyone who wants a quick, funny read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Genni

    A dear friend gave this to me and I enjoyed it very much. Sometimes the humor was a little forced, but overall, it was sweet and funny.

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