Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Smart One

I think there need to be categories of chick lit, because just plopping this book into that category without any qualifiers isn’t quite fair. Granted it has cupcakes on the cover, but it’s not actually a very “fluffy” book as far as content goes. Maybe I should invent something called the Sophie Kinsella Scale and rate all chick lit books on this. A book that scores a 10 on the SKS would meet the following standards:

- Useless but entertaining content focused primarily on dating and romance, with shopping and fashion as supporting roles
- Main character is a single female between the ages of 21 and 35
- Super girly book jacket, often involving cartoon pictures of women wearing cute outfits and very high heels, cupcakes, and/or whimsical little swirls and stars
- Takes less than 2 days to read
- Induces small amounts of shame when caught reading at the office and coworker asks, “What are you reading?”
- Completely predictable ending

The Shopaholic series would rank a 10 on the SK Scale. Here is a description of The Smart One from the back of the book:

Bev Bloomrosen thinks her sisters see her as a loser. Not that she minds being the Smart One, but she can't imagine she'll ever live up to her family's expectations ... especially since she left behind her artistic ambitions-along with her humor-impaired ex-husband-to pursue a career as a "mere" schoolteacher.

But her sisters have their own image problems. Clare, the Pretty One, married well and seems to have the perfect suburban life, yet worries that the paper thin fabric of her beautiful designer world is ripping apart. And Joey, the Wild One who had 15 minutes of fame as a one-hit-wonder rock star, struggles with sobriety and keeping the secret of her weirdest ambition yet.

They love each other but mix like oil, water, and hundred-proof gin . . . a combination that threatens to combust over family tensions, suspected infidelities, a devastating accident, a stunning confession, and the sudden reappearance of their handsome, now all-grown-up former neighbor, Kenny Waxman, who's back in town making his mark as a TV comedy writer.

It seems they'll never understand where their differences begin and their own destructive tendencies end. Then it happens: the sisters discover a decades-old body stuffed inside an industrial drum and begin a bold, heartbreaking, and sometimes hilarious journey that will either bring them together . . . or tear them apart for good.

I would put The Smart One somewhere in the 4-6 range on the SKS. It took me only 3 days to read, and the cover is close to being super girly, but the focus is not entirely on dating and romance and the main character borders on too old for a chick lit book. The ending was also not entirely predictable and actually, the writing was pretty good. I’d recommend it for a lighter read.

1 comment:

Jeane said...

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