Monday, 8 July 2013

Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess

Brooklyn Girls
by Gemma Burgess

Summary: Pia is living the dream: fresh out of college and sharing a house in Brooklyn with her best friends. So why is everything so complicated?

A drunken indiscretion has led to the loss of her boring office job, while her love life is a dizzy mess of accidental hook-ups and heartbreak...

Her parents don't trust her and, if she doesn't sort her life out soon, they're going to make her move back in with them...

But all that's nothing compared to the kind of trouble she's about to face.

At least she can rely on her friends - Coco, Angie, Julia and Madeleine. But how much can she really expect them to put up with?
Do you ever have a book and you're looking at the summary and the cover and you're thinking that you're probably not going to like it? But you have the book anyway, so you give it a chance anyway? And then it turns out to not be anything like you expected and you kind of love it? Ever read a book like that?

For me, this was one of those books, and I pretty much loved it. Something about the summary or the cover or the title just seemed so...I dunno, it just didn't appeal to me at all, but it took me by surprise.

Pia (main character)...sometimes I really hated her. She was annoying and whiny and pathetic and frustrating and mind numbingly idiotic at times. But then she was also funny, brave and loyal and she really cared about her friends, and even though she screwed up a lot she was at least trying to change. Even when I hated her, I still liked her (contrary, I'm aware, but it's like with your family--you always love them but don't necessarily have to like them all the time?). She did a lot of things I wanted to scream at her for doing, but then I realised that I liked that because she was flawed.

I enjoyed the writing, too, which I was not expecting (not sure why, but I was expecting something very shallow and Gossip Girl-ish) and I actually laughed out loud quite a few times reading it--that doesn't happen much with books.

My favourite part? Her friends and the relationship she had with them. I loved that their friendship was the focus of the book (well, shared focus with the career/figuring out life stuff), with the romance kind of being just a subplot. It's rare for the romance to be at the bottom of the list when I'm saying what I liked about a book, but that was the case here--and not because it wasn't done well, it was sweet, it was just overshadowed by how awesome the rest of it was (although, most of the wanting-to-scream-at-Pia moments were during those scenes).

This review is all over the place, sorry. There were other things I liked about the book, like the other characters, and the setting had so much personality, and the kind of messy feel to their lives that made it seem more realistic, and the fact that Pia was half Indian and the way the book handled that, and I love the way it allowed female characters to have casual sex and not be totally slut shamed for it, etc. but I would be here all night if I went into detail about those parts so I'll leave it at that.

There's not much I didn't like really--things turning out a bit too conveniently is the only thing I can think of or some bits where it was kind of soap opera predictable. The romance was definitely the weakest part for me, while it was sweet, those scenes almost felt like they belonged in a different book.

I'd rate the book 4 out of 5.


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