Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner
13 years after Cannie’s debut in Good In Bed, she is back in full size humor and still working on her weight, her Physician husband Peter’s sudden desire to have another baby, and planning her daughter Joy’s bar Mitzvah (without the spaghetti strapped “way too adult” looking dress Joy has chosen for herself.) Oh yes, there is also that writing career she is supposed to be working on…. well, lets put a pin in that….
When Joy discovers her mothers highly verbal and descriptive novel she wrote years before, Joy feels she has stumbled on all her mothers secrets, including the grandfather Joy feels she has never had the opportunity to get to know and blames her mother for the distance between them. Joy now 13, and self-conscious and rebellious all rolled into one, makes her mother’s life more interesting by her sneaking off to see her biological father, skipping school, and reconnecting with her grandfather.
For both Cannie and Joy, this is a season of growing up and learning truths.
I am still a little confused about why this book was called Certain Girls. I must have missed something. Entirely possible. Jennifer Weiner is often a hit or a miss for me, yet I enjoy reading her characters and her wit so I keep coming back.
In Certain Girls I was able to revisit Cannie Shapiro and see where her life has gone since the ending of Good In Bed left her with a premature baby. If you read my review of Good In Bed you will realize that I did not love the book, but I did like it. Obviously enough to see where Cannie’s life has gone, a rare treat that we as readers do not always get, to see where the characters we have come to know are in their fiction lives years later. Kind of a “where are they now?” look into their life, fictitious as it is.
I liked Cannie better in this book. She seemed more sure of herself. I think the real win for this one was the voice of Joy… typical teenager, self-conscious about her hearing aids (due to her premature birth), feeling that her mom still treats her like a baby, and wanting to know more about the missing people connected to her through family blood.
Over all, this one was just ok. The ending was…. anger enducing. I can’t explain it. It just felt… disappointing. Frustrating. Like I had traveled far and then was thrown over a cliff. I expected something more, and that again, could be just me.