If you are anticipating the 14th of February with about as much eagerness as a visit from the Grim Reaper, I Hate Valentine's Day offers a hilarious antidote for the red-heart blues. Author Bennett Madison begins by lamenting the loss of innocent fun the holiday once brought in childhood when "at the end of the day, you had a box full of cards one from each and every person in the class, including sworn enemies. That was the rule." He goes on to offer an adult guidebook for not only surviving the day, but enjoying it (albeit at times perversely), once more. "It will only take a small attitude adjustment," he quips, "a lot of quick thinking, and a few shots of Jack Daniels." The eight brief chapters include "Emergency Dating," with tips on Internet resources, creative dating and people to avoid no matter how desperate you are for a date; "Hell Night," complete with a quick quiz to rate your romance quotient and some atypical ideas for where to go and what to do; and "Wallowing When All Else Fails," with lists of videos and songs sure to wring a good, cathartic, cry out of you. There's even a troubleshooting section to help out with any problems you might encounter on Valentine's Day, such as V-Day stalkers, unwanted proposals and bad hair/acne/mysterious rashes. Madison's funny take on the holiday is sure to keep your Valentine's Day expectations under control. Linda Stankard writes from Nanuet, New York.

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