Saturday, December 17, 2011

Review: Girls In White Dresses by Jennifer Close

Girls In White Dresses
Author: Jennifer Close
Published: August 9, 2011
Genre: chick lit
Hardcover: 304 pages
Source: borrowed from the library

My Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis (from GoodReads): 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 Thoughts: When I first heard about this book, it sounded like something that was right up my alley. I'm in my mid-twenties and see everyone around me getting married and having kids. It's scary to see all of this and realize that a few years ago, we were just having a good time at college without a care in the world. This book sounded like it was something that I could definitely relate to, and while the writing was interesting, I did find myself laughing outloud at these three girls as they graduate college and grow-up. Jennifer Close is a great writer, pulling you into Isabella, Mary, and Laurens' worlds. This isn't so much a novel as a series of short stories. Each chapter highlights a different part of one of these girls' lives and Close details those important moments in a young woman's life with humor, wit, and the knowledge of someone who has been there. For example, the chapter about Mary graduating from law school and promising that she would give up smoking, only to realize that it's easier said than done. She also highlights how Mary is concerned that all the is doing is eating absurd amounts of food and not working out. Now, minus the smoking, this was something that I could totally relate to! I remember those first few months after graduation, where I just started at my job and wasn't walking as much as I did in college. I definitely gained a few pounds those first six months after college! 

Each chapter is a vignette into a 20something girls' world. From finding a job, finding another job after the first one doesn't work out, college boyfriends, real boyfriends, weight gain, bridal showers, weddings, births, and everything else that you may experience during this time period. While told from the perspective of the three main girls, I didn't feel like there was much character development. Each girl seems a bit stagnant. That was the only negative thing that I could say about this book. If you are a 20something girl, then this is a book that you should definitely read. 

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