Thursday, October 27, 2011
Girls in White Dresses
I powered through Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close immediately after finishing Storm Front. I finished Storm Front on morning of the 15th, and powered through until I finished it the next night. It was not the most enjoyable experience.
This novel consisted of a collection of short stories that spanned multiple characters' lives from college through their early thirties. The only likeable character out of the "main character" was the one you hardly ever saw. Mary was given a ridiculously small chunk of the novel, and because of this, the author didn't have the opportunity to really devolve her character into a petty, insecure drunken bitch that the other two main characters quickly desscended to. Isabella and Lauren were nothing if not pathetic. They spent the majority of their time either obsessing over how horrible their lives were, or making fun of other people. It was like being in the middle of a stereotypical TV high school. (Apparently, I was lucky in that my high school experience was nothing like how it's portrayed in the media. I didn't know any bullies, I had large groups of friends, and there were no "popular" clique- at least not one I knew of).
I admit, I'm not the target age demographic for this book. I have yet to go through many of the experiences that are portrayed in this book. While I understand many of the events are relatable- hell, even though I hadn't gone through many of them, I felt as though I could relate, the book still failed to make me care about a single character. I rather wanted to shake them all.
The biggest problem I had (other than the incredibly negative tone the entire book had) was that theses women settled. Maybe I've been lucky so far, but I never felt resigned to be with Monkey. I love him, no ifs ands or buts. He's the only person I want to be in a relationship with, and even though he drives me crazy approximately eight million times a day, I feel incredibly lucky to have found him. These girls have zero connection to the men that they date, or the men that they finally end up with. It seems very "well, I don't want to wind up alone..." sort of thing. While I know that you shouldn't see your significant other as "perfect" because they're not (believe me, there are a couple things that I can't say I wouldn't be happy if Monkey changed... like his refusal to go to the doctor for his sleep apnea), but these women have absolutely no real excitement for their significant others.
Seriously? You can't even portray the giddy feeling that they have when they first meet, flirt, and date their significant others? When the real main character, Isabella, constantly worries about losing her boyfriend, I had to wonder why. She showed no real attachment to him, other than in her fear of being left alone. Him as a person? Not so much.
The characters did grow a tiny bit less vapid as the novel wore on, but not enough to change my mind about the book. The book finally ends with what is supposed to be a Very Grown Up Decision for Isabella, and all I could do was roll my eyes. How was it a grown up decision if it's the same decision she would have made at the beginning of the book? Her constant insecurities and fear of being left her alone are what would have driven such a decision.
Ugh. I'm just incredibly frustrated with this. I was expecting light-hearted chick lit, and instead was saddles with immature, insecure twits. If I wanted to listen to that drivel, I would have gone and found a middle school girl.