Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner: Review

A sequel to Weiner’s novel, Good in Bed. Cannie Shapiro is now married, and her daughter Joy is on the verge of being a teenager. After a disastrous brush with fame after the publication of her first novel, Cannie retreats to suburbia and writing science fiction under a pen name.

Cannie thinks things are ticking over just fine, but then her husband Peter, who is not Joy’s biological father, tells Cannie he wants them to have a baby by a surrogate and Joy starts acting, well, like a teenager.

The story is told by both Cannie and Joy in alternating chapters, and it just works. It’s funny and engaging and heartbreaking in fairly equal measure as Cannie tries to keep everything together and Joy finds out things about her mother that, quite frankly, she wishes she never knew.

I especially appreciated the way Weiner makes Joy sound and act like a typical teenager, without having her say “like” a thousand times.

It’s a great read; vivid, realistic and funny.

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