Tuesday, September 15, 2009

jennifer johnson is sick of being single by Heather McElhatton

Sometimes people ask me what I do all day. The answer is usually that I teach and I read. I read a lot of books. I considered starting a new blog that I could use to write book reviews, but the truth is that I don't actually post enough content on this blog to justify starting an entirely new one, so I'm going to just put them here. I read a lot of trashy literature, but that should not be surprising to anyone who knows me. I'll start by reviewing one of my most recent Barnes and Noble purchases.

jennifer johnson is sick of being single was recommended to me by one of the employees at B&N when I told her that I was going to be going away for the long weekend (Labor Day) and I wanted something light and fluffy to take with me. She recommended this book mostly because I told her I like chick lit, but also because it is written by a local Twin Cities author and it's really fun to read a book and recognize all the localities.

Basically, it's a book about a slightly overweight white-collar girl with tense relationships with family members who meets a guy. Is he the right one for her? How many times can she a make a fool of herself in front of him?

The book is exactly as advertised in its light, fluffy nature. Some of the dialogue is particularly witty and I found myself picturing Rory and Lorelei-like repartee as I read it. (That may have something to do with the number of hours I've been watching season one of Gilmore Girls since I received it as a birthday present.) I laughed out loud, much to my husband's amusement. I want the main character's best gay friend to be my best gay friend. I loved the local references more than I thought I would.

However, it isn't a smash hit for me. The main character is self-absorbed, juvenile, and, frankly, unlikeable. I'm sure some might ding me for this and say that she is just portrayed in an honest manner and perhaps that is true, but I expect bigger things out of my heroine. If I just wanted to read about a neurotic, pissy, narcissistic young professional in Minneapolis, I'd scroll through my blog archives. I want my heroine to make me want to be like her, to be better than I am, to learn from her. This book provided laughs, but it didn't provide me with the self-reflection I want from my fluffy chick lit.

Plus, the ending? I had to reread it like four times to make sure there wasn't a page missing from my copy. Abrupt and incomplete is how it read for me.

So, there you have it. A solid 3 out of 5 stars. The book has its moments and is definitely worth a read, but I'm pretty sure I won't be giving it a permanent place in my limited bookshelf space.

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't thought of it that way, but I guess I like my Heroine to be someone who inspires me, who I aspire to be, too.

    I had wondered why I don't like some books, now I understand.


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