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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

***½ Velvet Rope Diaries by Daniella Brodsky. Chick lit.

Hmmm. I used to think that the anti-chick-lit lobby, who characterized the genre as being all about young women obsessed with clothes and shoes, didn't know what they were talking about. After reading two such books close together, I'm beginning to see what they mean. Fortunately, the other chick lit (#9) books I've read are allowing me to view these two as an aberration. My inner Mary Sunshine refuses to entertain the possibility that those (#3 & #9) previous reads (#3) are the ones that are unusual.

This one tries to be deep by having the heroine sabotaging her life because of guilt over her father's death when she was 8. That portion of the book was interesting and thought-provoking, but rather than making me feel sympathy for her, it just made me annoyed.

Other than that, Anna Walker is the typical chick lit heroine. She works as an assistant for a trendy NYC daily paper, until one day she vents her frustration over her boss by writing a mock-expose about her... and the paper's gossip columnist finds it and prints it. Surprisingly, this leads, not to being fired, but being offered a column of her own--writing about the hottest of the hot NYC nightlife.

She meets a sexy stranger, and deals with some strange vibes from her womanizing best friend and roommate, Ray.

It is actually an entertaining story, but every time I started enjoying it, up popped the guilt thread and brought me down again. I've been trying to figure out why that is, because I like--in fact, I prefer--my chick lit with a core of angst. I think it's because Anna knew all along what her problem was--she just kept dwelling on it, so it wasn't so much discovery and growth as it was practicing to get over it.

Whatever it was, this blend of chick lit and women's fiction elements, though I can see how it would work for some readers, just didn't work for me.


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