Weiner-fest (it's pronounced WY-ner!)

by librarianinheels@evpl on Wednesday, July 30 2008, 2:42pm. Viewed 989 times.

Jennifer Weiner is arguably the queen of American chick-yet.  Good in Bed, her first novel, was almost an instant best seller and is a perennial favorite here at EVPL (i.e. it almost always has a waiting list).  Her novels are eagerly anticipated by her Gen-X followers, myself included, and her most recent, Certain Girls, is no exception.  I've been waiting for this book for three years.  Seriously, I have.

To say that Certain Girls is a disappointment may be a little harsh.  That being said, it is certainly not what I expected from the plucky, plus-sized heroine of Good in Bed.  Gone is the Cannie Shapiro of yore - the woman who plodded through the remainer of her twenties finding disappointment and pain at virtually every angle - only to finish them with an unexpected upswing and blessing - her daughter, Joy, a movie-star friend, and burgeoning career as a "serious" writer.  Flash forward - Joy is twelve as Certain Girls begins, and Cannie has become a neurotic clone of c. 1984 Tipper Gore...ashamed of who she used to be (a best-selling author!) and refusing to allow her daughter to do things like use a Grease theme for her bat mitzvah - because it promotes smoking and promiscuity?  OK - I'm not Jewish, but even MY mom, born in the pre-war Midwest and coming of age in the 50s - wouldn't have been that careful about party themes - and for years I was not allowed to wear jeans in front of my grandparents.

I'm not finished with Certain Girls yet, so it may surprise me, and I may end up loving it as much as I did its predecessor.  But so far, I get the feeling that Jennifer Weiner, like her heroine Cannie Shapiro, was pressured into a follow-up of her successful first novel - and it shows.  Her characters so far resemble nothing of their former incarnations.  I'm just not feeling the love for Cannie yet.  I'll be sure to report back, though.  Hmm

Comments (2)

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on Friday, September 5 2008, 3:41pm

Jennifer Weiner is one of my favorite authors. Good in Bed is my favorite of her books, so I was really looking forward to Certain Girls too. It really wasn't as good as Good in Bed and some of her other books, but overall I enjoyed it.

AmyT27 wrote
on Saturday, June 6 2009, 4:19pm

I agree.  I looked forward to Certain Girls as well, but I was mostly irritated with Cannie throughout a majority of the book.  Very disappointing!