“So, she wrote a book. So what? Why do you care so much?” – Nicolas, Chapter 8, Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr.
Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr releases today (August 28, 2013) and it’s sure to sweep both the blogosphere and the world of chick lit. Why? Because, hello? Who doesn’t like to read about blogging and chick lit?
Kimberly Long, the ‘Blogger Girl’ in Meredith Schorr’s new novel has worked tirelessly to build her book blog, Pastel is the New Black, into an online chick lit destination. But, ruh-roh! Look out. Just before a high school reunion, Kimberly learns that her high school nemesis, Hannah Marshak, has just written a chick lit novel, Cut on the Bias, and is looking for coverage on Kimberly’s blog.
When a copy of Cut on the Bias arrives, a romantic chick lit novel set in the glamorous fashion world of Paris, Kimberly faces a pale blue cover. (Ouch. So cute.) With a mannequin draped in silk. Which sounds beautiful. Another ouch. She skims the first chapter, hoping it would suck (okay, ‘stink’, if you’re my Aunt Cindy and you’re reading this), but it doesn’t suck/stink. Which makes it a triple ouch – make that, a quadruple ouch – just because. And then, to Kimberly’s dismay, the book starts getting great coverage in the blogosphere. And what comes after a quadruple ouch? A quintuple ouch.
But wait! There’s more. More ouches. Not just the book-writing nemesis named Hannah, but a woman named Daneen. (Two evil bee-otches!) It seems, everywhere Kimberly turns, there are women who are one-upping her. To sum it all up in Kimberly’s words while she’s fetching coffee at a Starbucks (Kimberly struggles throughout the book with her height): “I was unaccustomed to waiting in line without the distraction of a book and so I counted how many girls ahead of me were taller. All of them.”
Nicolas. (So hot.) I can’t give anything away, so instead, I’ll muddle-up some cryptic words and give you a confusing, poorly written sentence. Here it is: Nicolas drives the ‘fulfillment of unfulfilled wish fulfillment-ness’ in the storyline. HA! Love that horribly written sentence about this great character. It’ll make sense after you read Blogger Girl. He’s essential to Kimberly’s personal growth and story arc. So is best friend Bridget and Kimberly’s former boyfriend Jonathan.
I think the feelings of high school angst and anxiety in the book will serve as a universal truth for many readers as they reflect back to their high school years. It was certainly a great way to develop tension in the plot between characters and to raise the stakes for the main character when her current world is threatened by someone from her past. It pained me to see Kimberly sink to a new low when a mean girl provides a dirty little secret that is later used against someone (refer to the author’s comments about this in the comment section of this post), but I’ll chalk that scene up to something that was necessary for the plot to move forward and besides, Kimberly’s not perfect. No one is. The scene I’m referring to did serve the narrative that school is a living hell(o) for so many and the fact that some people never grow up despite having graduated. (Aunt Cindy, technically speaking, I didn’t really use the H-word.)
I read Blogger Girl cover to cover in one day and loved the characters, the storyline, and the frequent weaving of contemporary, ‘real world’ chick lit authors, titles, and conventions into the narrative. I especially enjoyed the moments where Kimberly struggled with her obligations as a book blogger to review a book with honesty when she didn’t always enjoy it or was distracted by flaws in the writing or storyline. I loved that she felt enormous pressure to read, read, read, and post, post, post book reviews and felt genuinely bad that she was behind on her reading list because she had so many other commitments in her life. But what I loved most about her life as a blogger girl was an awesome scene where she tries to undo a post that’s about to publish!
Was this a joyous, narcissistic read for me, personally, as a book blogger girl in the chick lit genre? Absofarkenlutely. (‘Absofarkenlutely’ should be safe to say if my Aunt Cindy is reading this blog post. The actual word used in the book was similar – but not Cindy-safe so I changed it.) Blogger Girl’s about my world. And I happen to really like the world I’m living, blogging and writing in. The chick lit genre rocks. But more than that, the entire chick lit community ROCKS. Notice my use of capital letters. It’s a fancy way of getting my point across. Stay-tuned. I’m going to use even more capital letters!
Chick lit books ROCK.
Chick lit writers ROCK.
And, yes, chick lit ‘blogger girls’ (like me) ROCK, too.
And that, my friend, made this the most delicious kind of read there is – the kind of read that makes you feel like the book was written just for you, about the things you love the most. Happy, happy, joy, joy.
This is Meredith Schorr. Ain’t she purdy? I just love her. She’s written two other books. Her first novel, JUST FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS will soon be re-released, this time by Booktrope, the publisher of her second and third books. Her second book, A STATE OF JANE, was reviewed on my book blog on February 5, 2013. Click here if you want to see that book review. But wait! There’s more! Click here if you want to read my “Blogging vs. Bacon” post on Meredith’s blog during her Celebration of Bloggers Tour. There you’ll find lots of my super cool, fellow book bloggers in the chick lit genre. Which will really make you want to read Blogger Girl!
Bonus Material About the Life of a (Real Life) Book Blogger Girl:
So here’s an interesting tidbit from an actual blogger (me) that you may or may not know. The FTC (yes, the Federal Trade Commission, Big Brother, our government) mandates that I disclose the following information to you every time I write a book review:
“I received an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of this book in exchange for an honest review.”
In simple terms: Meredith (the author) forwarded an electronic version of her book for me to read (she sent it as an attachment in an email and I downloaded it onto my iPad). If she hadn’t done that, there would be no way for me to read the book and post a book review before today – because today is the release day so it wasn’t for sale until today – which would defeat an entire branch of book marketing that tries to post a few book reviews in time for a book release. Duh.
That said, Meredith sent me a free copy of her book. (And for that, I am grateful. Because I loved it.) Therefore, the government feels that I, the book blogger, was compensated (in the form of a free book) and may therefore lose my ability to think clearly and act like a responsible, professional grown-up and instead, act like a crazylady-book-hoarding-book-blogger so desperate for free books that I’d intentionally say nice things in a book review solely because I was so incredibly super jazzed about receiving a free book. Pa-leeze.
Ebooks cost a couple bucks – often less than a Starbucks coffee. (Therefore, you should buy Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr by clicking here. Right now.) (I did that just to entertain the FTC.) And while I love books and I certainly love receiving free books, Big Brother needs to consider the following when it views my free books as ‘compensation’:
To write this book review blog post, I spent 10 hours of my life reading the book and another 2 hours writing the review. I hardly consider receiving a free book as “compensation”. I received no money from anyone and I do zero advertising on my book blog. Zero. Zippo. The cost of running the blog is all mine. Consider this. If that free book was indeed compensation (today Meredith’s Blogger Girl ebook is selling on Amazon for $2.99) then I just got paid a whopping 25 cents per hour for my work. (I received a $2.99 book in exchange for 12 hours of work.) Dang government. Butt out! (Excuse me, Cindy.) Next they’ll have me paying taxes on the estimated value of the free books I receive. Taxing something that’s FREE. Oh, joy. Why not.
And that my friend, is an inside glance into the life of a real live Blogger Girl!
Wheeeeeeee!Update: Want to read my review of Meredith’s Schorr’s A State of Jane? Click here. As part of Meredith’s book promotion for Blogger Girl, she launched a “Celebration of Bloggers Tour” and invited a number of book bloggers to guest post on her book blog. Read my guest post on Meredith Schorr’s blog by clicking here. Back in April 2013, I had a little fun with National Grilled Cheese Month and invited a bunch of writers to get cheesy with me. Click here to read Meredith’s cheesy blog post: “A Life Plan Similar to Swiss Cheese”. I had the pleasure of meeting Meredith in New York City in May 2014 at a BookBuzzNYC event while I was attending the BEA BookExpo America and BEA Bloggers Convention. But what is crazy super fun is the weekend I spent with Meredith and five other writers in California in January 2014. Meredith wrote about this weekend on her book blog. Click here to read her “This is NOT California” blog post. While with Meredith (and Eileen Goudge, Francine LaSala, Samantha Stroh Bailey, and Jen Tucker) we filmed this book trailer for Meredith’s boxed set. I’m the one holding the camera so you don’t see me but you do see Francine LaSala (to the left of Meredith) and Samantha Stroh Bailey (to the right of Meredith). Click here to see the book trailer on YouTube. It’s hysterical. We giggle about her boxed set as if it’s her (ah hem) . . . Crazy how a spontaneous moment can end up on YouTube! Click on these hashtags to read the latest on Twitter: #chicklit #amreading #bloggers #bookblogs #bookreviews #dating #NYC
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