Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner *****

I cry at movies and books. Mostly happy stories, some might call them predictable, tear jerkers, but I like them and wish I could write them. Certain Girls is a middle-school coming-of-age story, a bat mitzvah story. Joy Krushelevansky, almost thirteen, struggles with pre-adolescent identity, an overweight, unfashionable mother, lesbian grandmother, estranged grandfather, step-father, and hearing aids. If that isn't enough, her classmates have discovered a novel written by her mother about a girl who promiscuously, and more embarrassing to a middle-schooler, in great detail, has sex throughout high school and college.

With a pink cover, I expected another book of the feelings, food, and fashions genre, but instead I was pleased to discover engaging characters and a plot closer to a thriller than the typical banter and boutique book. A contemporary novel for either the YA or light-reading crowd. Also, a wonderful book about contemporary Jewish culture.

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