Well hello! It’s been a while, I know. I got my tonsils out on Friday, so that’s not been fun. But I’ve read a whole bunch of books lately while I’ve been procrastinating studying for finals, so there are lots of posts coming your way!
My parents gave me These Girls in my stocking for Christmas this past year, and I just got around to reading it about a month ago. I really enjoyed it, I don’t read a lot of chick lit any more so it was a nice break from the heavier stuff. You can read that last sentence as “I grew out of Meg Cabot and got sick of Nicholas Sparks, so I stopped reading the genre all together.” I guess you could say my reading habits matured, but really I just got sick of the awful character development and terrible plot lines that seem to dominate the genre.
However, I thoroughly enjoyed These Girls. It won’t be going on my favourites shelf, but it certainly was worth the read. The story follows three young ladies, all in their mid to late twenties, sharing an apartment in New York. All of them are hiding something from the others. They learn to lean on each other, to see each other as friends instead of roommates, and through their new friendship become better women. Sounds pretty cheesy, I know. But the book deals with some big issues, like eating disorders, the pressure women feel to be thin and beautiful, extramarital affairs, half siblings, etc.
I found the portrayal of the characters and the way each of the characters handled their problems to be very realistic, and I enjoyed watching them struggle through knowing that it could only get better. Their viewpoints were very realistic, as were as the problems they faced. Though the writing may not win any awards, it was definitely entertaining.
The one thing I would have appreciated is if some of the plot lines were more fleshed out. For example, one of the girls is dealing with (among other things) the prospect of meeting a half-sister she never knew existed who was the product of her father’s affair from early on in his marriage to her mother. The parents’ characters were well represented, and they had room to expand and grow with the plot line, but the half-sister never got a chance to be anything but a side character. I would have enjoyed seeing the siblings meet for the first time and navigate their new relationship. That being said, I understand that there is only so much room in a story, and that not all characters can be main or even secondary characters.
Overall I really enjoyed These Girls. Not enough to go hunt down Pekanen’s other books, but enough to recommend it to someone looking for a light, easy read.
“She loved the way her city always sounded like it was celebrating.”