2013 Reads: Twenty-Two {Girls In White Dresses - Jennifer Close}

Saturday, June 29, 2013

I have never had a book so accurately depict my life before. If you smushed all of the main characters into one person, you'd probably end up with me. Or at least, I'm Isabella.


If you're a twenty something or early thirty something, read this book.


And then hand it off to all your friends.


Early adulthood is a seemingly impossible time of life to navigate. Some people seem to have it all together, some seem to be falling apart or floundering in their life after college. However, it's the friends you keep around you that make it all worthwhile, no matter what is going on around you.

Isabella, Mary, and Lauren feel like everyone they know is getting engaged, married, or having babies. They attend wedding showers, baby showers, and housewarming showers every weekend. They get dressed up in their best dresses, drink champagne, and smile over assorted cookware and baby toys. But at the same time they have their own lives to deal with: dating the wrong guy, dead-end jobs, and trying to sort out where they want to go in life. In her debut novel, Jennifer Close takes a humorous and astonishingly accurate look at the life of the twenty-something.


I loved this book.

Plain and simple: I couldn't put it down.

And it's not even that it's that fast-paced of a novel or full of adventure and twists and turns. It's just that I felt like I was reading a description of my life or the lives of my friends. Close created characters that I felt like I had known my whole life and characters who were going through (or struggling with) things that are constantly swirling in my brain.

This is one of those books that as soon as I turned the last page I needed to hand it off to all of my girlfriends. Because, you just know that every one of your girls would just get this book. I gave it to one of my friends with the instructions to wither pass it on to another friend who would just get it and then to keep it going, or to give it back to me so I could hand it off immediately to another friend.

It is also interesting because it doesn't follow the tradition plot-paced book. Instead of a story with a start and and end, it provides us with snippets and flashes of the characters' lives. It makes it seem that much more gritty and real when presented in that way. Because? The life of the average twenty-something is a little mundane punctuated by moments of oh-*$^# or ohmygod that was amazing. And that's what this book provides its readers, a look at those defining moments of our defining years.

This book works because it's real. These characters are me. They're my friends. They're the people I work with. Jennifer Close takes these moments of life and shows us what it means to grow up, what it means to be approaching that defining (and incredibly scary for many of us) moment in life of turning 30. It takes everything that we're struggling with - How did we get here so fast? Where did all my college dreams go? When did we become the adults? - and allows us to see that while that's all scary and intimidating that it's also beautiful and natural and nothing to fear.

Read this book.


And then pass it on. 


Title: Girls in White Dresses
Author: Jennifer Close
Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary Adult, 
Medium: Paperback, pp 304
Publisher: Vintage Books
Date Read: 10 June 2013
Source: Purchased, Barnes & Noble
Recommended For: Any woman in her mid-to-late twenties or early thirties
Challenges: Goodreads

First Line: Isabella's sister, Molly, was married with ten bridesmaids in matching tea-length, blue floral Laura Ashley dresses. 
Favorite Line: In college, twenty-nine had seemed impossibly old. By now, she'd thought, she'd be married and have kids. But as each year went by, she didn't feel much different than she had before. Time kept going and she was just here, the same. 
Runner-Up Favorite Line: "No," Isabella said. "I've been out to eat with boys were my boyfriend, but that's not dating. That's just parallel eating."
Last Line: "Sweet Jesus," Isabella said, looking at the bottle. "You're right. The worm turned." [whited out, for spoiler's sake]


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