Book Review - Girls in White Dresses

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book #2 - Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

[image source: Goodreads]

Summary (source)
Wickedly hilarious and utterly recognizable, Girls in White Dresses tells the story of three women grappling with heartbreak and career change, family pressure and new love—all while suffering through an endless round of weddings and bridal showers.

Isabella, Mary, and Lauren feel like everyone they know is getting married. On Sunday after Sunday, at bridal shower after bridal shower, they coo over toasters, collect ribbons and wrapping paper, eat minuscule sandwiches and doll-sized cakes. They wear pastel dresses and drink champagne by the case, but amid the celebration these women have their own lives to contend with: Isabella is working at a mailing-list company, dizzy with the mixed signals of a boss who claims she’s on a diet but has Isabella file all morning if she forgets to bring her a chocolate muffin. Mary thinks she might cry with happiness when she finally meets a nice guy who loves his mother, only to realize he’ll never love Mary quite as much. And Lauren, a waitress at a Midtown bar, swears up and down she won’t fall for the sleazy bartender—a promise that his dirty blond curls and perfect vodka sodas make hard to keep.

With a wry sense of humor, Jennifer Close brings us through those thrilling, bewildering, what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life years of early adulthood. These are the years when everyone else seems to have a plan, a great job, and an appropriate boyfriend, while Isabella has a blind date with a gay man, Mary has a crush on her boss, and Lauren has a goldfish named Willard. Through boozy family holidays and disastrous ski vacations, relationships lost to politics and relationships found in pet stores, Girls in White Dresses pulls us deep inside the circle of these friends, perfectly capturing the wild frustrations and soaring joys of modern life.

My Review
What I Loved
1. There were a lot of parts of this book that I could relate to as a young 20-something. I enjoyed the dating stories and the quirky people they came across. I thought Abby's parents were hilarious and I sort of wished I could meet them in person - or that they were real people to begin with. There were a few times when I was reading that I kept thinking to myself, "Oh my gosh, I have totally been there." The stories were simple and highlighted bizarre everyday events that most girls have experienced at some point in their lives. I definitely enjoyed the real-ness of the girls' stories. I love literature I can relate to and this book was definitely one of those pieces.

2. It was funny. I thought it was a lot like the show "Girls" on HBO which is a show I find strangely hilarious and to which I have developed a slight addiction. It's so quirky and I can identify with them a lot. This book was much the same way and because it reminded me of my new favorite show, I naturally took a liking to it.

3. While it was slightly confusing in this book, I do like when writers interrelate stories. I like to pick up from another place where one character left off. This book had lots of that but as you will see below, I thought it could have been done a little bit better.

4. It's fun and light. Not complex and heavy, it's easy to enjoy.

What I Didn't Love
1. I could not for the life of me remember which girl was which. I constantly had to keep flipping back and re-reading parts of the earlier stories to remember who was who. This frustrated me immensely. At one point I thought there were two girls with the same name and two different lives. ARGH!

2. Maybe it's just me but I certainly do not drink nearly as much as they do. I don't have the TIME to drink as much as they do, even if I wanted to. I feel like every page I was reading about them going out to another bar night after night or having yet another hangover. Maybe some girls live this way but I certainly could not keep up a full-time job with their lifestyle, ESPECIALLY not in New York City where everything costs a million dollars.

3. I didn't like the style of writing much. There was nothing poetic about it to me. Another reviewer on Goodreads that I came across before I picked up the book said "It reads monotonously. We got summer sausage, we cut the summer sausage." This is exactly how I felt. And what is with summer sausage?

3 out of 5 stars

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