Monday, January 31, 2011

Certain Girls By Jennifer Weiner

Have you ever read a book that you couldn't WAIT until it was over because it was so dull, yet were glad you finished reading it because the last 30 pages just blew you away?!  Well, that was my experience with Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner.  Certain Girls was the sequel to Good in Bed.  Both books focus on Cannie Shapiro, a Philadelphia native and writer.  In Weiner's first book, Cannie struggled with her weight and the affects it had on romance.  But by Certain Girls, Cannie is happily married, and her baby from Good in Bed is now a teenager in Certain Girls.  For almost 3/4 of the book, the main plot appears to be all about Joy, Cannie's daughter from a former lover.  Joy is your stereotypical teenage girl - wants nothing to do with her mom and everything to do with trying to be the popular girl at school - or at least hang with the popular crowd.  She hides things from her mom, lies, takes unsupervised excursions, and attempts to uncover the history of her mom's famous book.  Joy's dramas went on and on and ON for a good portion of this book, with a little Cannie drama here and there.  I was definitely getting fed up because the storyline seemed to be going no where.  Come on Jennifer - I fell in love with your books and now you're letting me down with Certain Girls!

BEWARE FOR SPOILERS (If you're going to stop reading here, thanks for stopping by! :) )

However, as I was desperately trying to blow through Certain Girls so that I could mark off my last book of 2010 on GoodReads, all of a sudden everything changed!  Cannie's beloved husband dies of a heart attack out of NO WHERE.  This was just the turning point I needed to get myself hauling through the remaining chapters last night. 

I cried.... I cried a lot.  I actually don't think I would have been so emotionally affected had I not just experienced something similar this past year.  At the start of the chapter when Peter dies, Cannie is describing how nice of a day it is - she is gardening, it's baking outside... a typical summer afternoon in the Motherland.  Up until she receives the dreadful phone call, life for Cannie is normal.  (Well, as "normal" as normal can be these days.) 

I actually remember this same description of a day in April 2010... it was a beautiful Spring day in Maryland.  Joel and I were just coming home to my apartment after working hard at his house.  The sun was shining, the windows were down in the car.. and then suddenly I received a phone call you couldn't possibly think would ever happen on what appeared to be such a glorious day.  And life as you know it will forever be changed.  You will always remember what life was like before the accident, then after the accident.  I imagine that is exactly how Cannie felt as she visited her deceased husband in the hospital that afternoon.  It brings tears to my eyes just writing about it and reliving it mentally.  A heartbreaking, yet hopeful, ending to the story was that Cannie and Peter were actually in the process of conceiving a child via surrogate.  At the time of Peter's death, they did not know the status of the pregnancy.  However, just a few short weeks pass and Cannie learns that the surrogate is pregnant with a boy.  Can you just imagine?  I'm speechless.

I gave the book 3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads.  It did have a suspenseful ending, but overall I was still not impressed.  But Jennifer, you've written a lot of books that I really enjoyed so I won't give up hope with this one!     

No comments:

Post a Comment

You May Also Like: