Saturday, August 8, 2009

Certain Girls

I had just started reading Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner when a friend happened to ask if I had ever read because she wanted to talk about the ending. I told her it was funny she asked, because I had just started it. I said I was having a hard time getting into though, which is surprising because I've really liked her other books and sped right through all of them. After reading this one for several days I had barely reached page 50. But when Rachel said the ending was surprising, it intrigued me. She also said she had the same problem getting into it, but that halfway through it picks up. She was right, and once I made it that far I finished it pretty quickly. And the ending was shocking! Even knowing that something happened, I was still surprised. It was depressing for what is supposed to be a fluffy chick lit book though. I think it made me like the book better overall. When Rachel and I talked about it the next day, she said it made the book more memorable, that it sticks with you a little longer. That seems to be true.

I think it was somewhat difficult to get into at first because of the structure. You'd read one chapter by the mom, then one by her 13-year-old daughter. I normally like books that play with point of view, but the abrupt shifts just didn't work for me in this case. I think she also didn't create distinctive enough voices for the two characters. It was sometimes hard to tell them a part at the beginning of a chapter. I think that made both characters less real and made the whole thing harder to enjoy.

The other item of interest in this book is that the action centers around a bat mitzvah. I liked reading about that, although it was insane the amount of money people spent on those. I know it's just a book, but what is with people? It is not normal to buy designer gowns for your 13-year-old daughter or drop tens of thousands of dollars on a party. I'm glad that most Oklahomans don't go overboard that way and that most of those who do live in places like Edmond, where I would never ever live. The other interesting thing about this part of the book is that I seem to be on a Jewish kick. Two of the next books I'm going reading have Jewish main characters. I didn't even know that when selecting those books, but it's funny how that happens sometimes.

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