Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

Wickedly hilarious and utterly recognizable, Girls in White Dresses tells the story of three women grappling with heartbreak and career change, family pressure and new love—all while suffering through an endless round of weddings and bridal showers.

Isabella, Mary, and Lauren feel like everyone they know is getting married. On Sunday after Sunday, at bridal shower after bridal shower, they coo over toasters, collect ribbons and wrapping paper, eat minuscule sandwiches and doll-sized cakes. They wear pastel dresses and drink champagne by the case, but amid the celebration these women have their own lives to contend with: Isabella is working at a mailing-list company, dizzy with the mixed signals of a boss who claims she’s on a diet but has Isabella file all morning if she forgets to bring her a chocolate muffin. Mary thinks she might cry with happiness when she finally meets a nice guy who loves his mother, only to realize he’ll never love Mary quite as much. And Lauren, a waitress at a Midtown bar, swears up and down she won’t fall for the sleazy bartender—a promise that his dirty blond curls and perfect vodka sodas make hard to keep.

With a wry sense of humor, Jennifer Close brings us through those thrilling, bewildering, what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life years of early adulthood. These are the years when everyone else seems to have a plan, a great job, and an appropriate boyfriend, while Isabella has a blind date with a gay man, Mary has a crush on her boss, and Lauren has a goldfish named Willard. Through boozy family holidays and disastrous ski vacations, relationships lost to politics and relationships found in pet stores, Girls in White Dresses pulls us deep inside the circle of these friends, perfectly capturing the wild frustrations and soaring joys of modern life.

This was one of the first titles I checked out hoping to break myself out of my reading rut and luckily it did just that!  It might not fall into the YA category, but it was a fun and mostly light read that had me entertained from start to finish.  A book centering around three best friends who find themselves sorting out their lives and hoping for the best while at the same time, weathering some difficult and disappointing times along the way.

As a lot of people know, once you hit your mid-twenties, there seems to be no end in sight to what many refer to as wedding season.  There's always that first friend who gets engaged and then married, but it doesn't stop after that.  It's got a snowball effect that I found myself experiencing the past two years.  These girls featured in this story knew just how I felt.  All of their friends around them seemed to either be getting engaged, getting married, or having babies.  Nothing wrong with that, but I'll admit that once you've been a bridesmaid a few times, the allure and excitement tends to wear off.  It's not necessarily a chore, but once you've been through one wedding and know what's expected or what could be expected of you....well things change.

These girls saw dollar signs flashing in their eyes as the tasks added up that were involved with the celebrations they were apart of, and I found myself laughing, and empathizing with them as they rehashed horror stories of brides that forget themselves, mothers who don't realize that not everyone wants to discuss graphic topics of birthing children or trying to conceive these children, let alone at a dinner table where everyone's trying to enjoy their meals and casual conversation.

So while there were moments where a lot of what these girls discussed and went through hit very close to home, and had me shaking my head in empathy, there were also tons of moments where I found myself laughing out loud and wanting to read certain scenes over and over again.

A perfect light and fun read that you might want to take advantage of this summer, if not very soon!

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