Thursday, July 8, 2010

Review: Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner

From the back cover:

For twenty-eight years, things have been tripping along nicely for Cannie Shapiro. Sure, her mother has come charging out of the closet, and her father has long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her friends, her rat terrier, Nifkin, and her job as a pop culture reporter for The Philadelphia Examiner. She's even made a tenuous peace with her plus-size body.

But the day she opens up a national women's magazine and sees the words "Loving a Larger Woman" above her ex-boyfriend's byline, Cannie is plunged into misery...and the most amazing year of her life. From Philadelphia to Hollywood and back home again, she charts a new course for herself: mourning her losses, facing her past, and figuring out who she is and who she can become.

I picked up this book on a whim, I saw it at B&N in the sale aisle but didn't buy it. I went back later and it was already gone - then I saw it on Paperback Swap and said "what the heck".

I think this book falls under the category "Women's Fiction", because it's not exactly a romance and not exactly "chick lit". What it is, is a very good read. I wasn't going to review this book, I read it just to read, but days later it's stuck with me.

The storyline is that Cannie is a plus-sized woman who's recently "taken a break" from her boyfriend of 3 years, Bruce. He gets a job at a Cosmo-type magazine, and writes a relationship column. His first column, titled "Loving a Larger Woman" causes Cannie to see red. (Honestly, where I can see how she might be a bit insulted, I thought it was a very insightful article. But I digress.) Soon after, his father dies, and they end up together after the funeral. Cannie has joined a weight-loss study, and during one of her appointments she finds out she's pregnant. Bruce doesn't exactly step up to the plate, and Cannie's story is one of perseverance and love of friends and family.

This story never got boring - I was constantly intersted in what was going to happen next. Between her lesbian mother's constant suggestions that maybe she "try the other team" and Cannie's snarky rants at her weight-loss doctor and her brush with Hollywood, her heartache at her father's rejection, and her pathetic ex-boyfriend. The storyline has highs and lows, but Cannie's wit and humor temper the sadness (okay, one scene had me crying...if you've read this book you know which one). But it does deliver a very satisfying HEA.

Here's the thing: I don't know what Jennifer Weiner looks like, but she "gets" what it's like to be an overweight woman, and how it affects every aspect of your life. I'm really, really impressed. Except for the "Daddy issues" she could have been pulling straight from my brain. As I skimmed the book looking for quotes, I realized it wasn't just one or two things, it's the nuances and the way Cannie communicates and views the people around her.

I really enjoyed this book for different reasons than I thought I would. My rating:


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