Monday, December 05, 2005

A book critique: Citizen Girl

While waiting for a spinning class yesterday I popped into Fully Booked where a few books were on sale at the front of the store. As I forgot (consciously?) my book bag, I justified my purchase by saying to my stingy self "It's a sale" and got two books - Citizen Girl (E. Maclaughlin and N. Kraus, of Nanny Diaries fame) and Birds Without Wings (Louis de Berenieres' latest). I also picked up the latest Stopover edition as it had a number of articles related to diving, particularly in my favorite dive spot, Anilao.

I finished reading Citizen Girl by midnight, not because it was that compelling, although it was relatively short. If I were to compare it to the other forms of chicklit I've come across, I'd say it had some interesting sidenotes (morality in the face of commercialism, and maintaining one's integrity when dealing with issues affecting women's health and safety). However, I became increasingly annoyed at the endless plot twists, the unnecessary inclusion of the Bovary client and Los Angeles section (the book could have ended 50 pages earlier), then the new company which, I suppose, was the straw that broke Girl's back, but the twist was not very exciting anymore. I just wanted it to end. And so I sped read through the last ten pages.

I've collected all of LdB's books thus far, so I'm looking forward to reading his latest, even if the reviews weren't as good as Corelli's Mandolin. I miss his prose as well as Vikram Seth and Michael Ondaatje. I hope all three authors continue to write, reviewers bedamned.


wysgal said...

The Nannie Diaries is rubbish. I liked the first few chapters --- which I read standing up in a bookstore. But I felt ripped off by the end.

I was so unhappy with the book that when a friend borrowed my copy I actually told her she could keep it because I didn't want it anymore.

Mila Tan said...

I've learned not to get any of these books unless they're on massive sale. I made a fantastic discovery at one of the Powerbooks sales bins (how many plurals can you get into a sentence before you start hissing?), a signed first edition copy of a recently published book by Peter Robinson, who writes mysteries. A good story, not one of his better ones. But a first edition! Signed! and it only cost me P199! Holy cow, batgirls!

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