Friday, May 23, 2008

The Two Jennifers

Despite my being Catholic, I was not turned off at all by the sprinklings of Hebrew terms, passages from the Torah and talk-talk-talk of a bat mitzvah. In Jennifer Weiner's Certain Girls, issues of growing up, love, marriage and morals are tackled with wit, a good eye for detail and the changing POVs of Candace Shapiro and her thirteen-year-old daughter, Joy.

While grocery shopping, two hardcover eye-catching novels (both NYT Bestsellers) and I found myself debating whether to buy Stephenie Meyer's The Host or the aforementioned Certain Girls. Naturally, I would have picked both, but I'm a little tight on cash so I randomlly picked up CG, trying to make the jump from YA to Adult a clean, fun, girlie one.

Although this was a sequel to Weiner's Good In Bed, I didn't read the first one and I think the reading is pleasurable with or without reading the first book. Cannie Shapiro is the average American woman: a mother, plus-size and married. Of course, she's not completely normal. Back when Joy was just a baby she wrote a barely-concealed story of her life, Big Girls Don't Cry and now that very book is coming up to bite her in the ass when Joy reads it. In it, Cannie (called "Allie") gets pregnant with a daughter she really, really, really doesn't want.

The books alternates between Cannie's worrying about her daughter and her daughter, Joy, worrying about her mother's past. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The only thing keeping this from a five-star review is the Canadian-bashing which appears so early on in the book (chapter three! three!). I understand she was just trying to show her characters' opinions, but I'd rather save that for when I'm absolutely sure I love the book. Twists kept it fresh and interesting though, so I'll have to give Certain Girls...

Total: Four and a half

Watch out for The Two Jennifers (Cont.) with Jennifer Lynn Barnes' Tattoo! Over and out.

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