Tag Archives: chick-lit

How the Other Half Hamptons – Jamsin Rosemberg

Elana gave me this book. It’s the story of twenty-somethings with a Hamptons beach share. I have some mixed feelings about this book.

Its certainly realistic. That was kind of cool. The problem for me (and not the fault of the book) is that I would have hated it. There is a mention of a girl who leaves after one day. That would have been undoubtedly, me. Even at the end, while they acknowledge that it sucks – they agree to absolutely want to do it again next year. Ugh. This pretty much colored my whole feeling about the book. I know who these people are (my friends) but I just can’t get into it. I also kind of hated the characters – they did remind me of my friends, but not the positive things about my friends. Like, a trumped up, one dimensional version of them. Not so awesome. I never really did learn each character’s name, and while I think they were supposed to represent a different facet of early-twenties (a la Sex and the City), they all just seemed so similar to me.

My big problem with the book wasn’t all this – it was the pretentiousness of it. Like, its a perfectly normal paragraph – describing the scene, the dialogue is written well, and then there is a line like “Rachel knew that being burned was a part of life” or something. That’s not a quote, but it all just felt so contrived. Don’t stick me with some weird Quarter Life Crisis “deep thoughts,” just describe the damn bathroom. And they are watching a flip cup game, and then all of a sudden the author uses “flip” to describe some sort of change of heart/course. It was just too heavy for the book, and sadly – wouldn’t be that heavy in a book that wasn’t this kind of beachy lit. It just came off as trite.

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Matzo Ball Heiress – Laurie Gwen Shapiro

This has everything a girl could want. I have this embarrassing habit of not necessarily loving chick-lit for the romance, but for the somewhat one-dimensional and over the top characters. This book had all that PLUS Yiddish. It’s a goofy throwaway book, but it combined Yiddish, Jewish love triangles and the inner workings of a matzo factory. Really? It’s like they wrote it for me.

And it’s a little sad how its always these really inane books that are the ones that make me think, or the ones I relate well to. I have been an atheist since, well – probably before I remember, but definitely since before my bat mitzvah. I am perfectly cool with my belief system, but I have always been proud of my Jewish heritage and related well to my cultural roots. That just seems to be getting highlighted more and more in my life lately. I don’t know if its a result of my being older and looking for some sort of a “nest” or if its because now my (predominantly Jewish) friends are all now adults and we can have conversations seriously…? A few of them have called me the best Jew they know, which is ironic – because they have all, on some occasion, given me shit for not believing in God.
(This rant brought to you by the plot point of – the main character in the book is part of the Greenblotz family [ripped off the real-life Streits] whose family and self is even “less Jewish” than I am – and yet, her family are big macha matzo makers.)

Anyway, I liked it.

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