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Girls in White Dresses
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Girls in White Dresses

3.07 of 5 stars 3.07  ·  rating details  ·  17,829 ratings  ·  2,361 reviews
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 bri
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Knopf (first published January 1st 2011)
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Nikki Wilde
I am almost at a loss for words. I have no idea how to review this. The back cover say's that this will perfectly capture the wild frustrations and soaring joys of modern life. I can honestly say, that for me, the only thing soaring were my frustrations with this book.

It reads monotonously. We got summer sausage, we cut the summer sausage. I couldn't even keep the characters names straight and I didn't even care. I started despising the characters. Honestly, Isabella was so annoying. She didn't
Blerg. I’m going to get this out of the way up front. I did not like this book. Reasons:

1. There is no plot. There are a bunch of girls (I could not for the life of me tell you how many, see point 2). They are between 21 and 30 years old. They are not married, but people they know are. They are living in New York or Chicago and they have jobs that they hate. Each chapter consists of a kind of episodic event (or nonevent), mostly to do with boys who they don’t really like that much, but date anyw
Colleen Myers
This is a review for the ladies - specifically, for the mid-20s ladies, the ones who went to great colleges and had big dreams and couldn't wait to get out there and start their totally fabulous lives, except, oops, that's actually a lot harder than it sounds when you're 21 and it's senior spring and you're drinking Trader Joe's wine on the stoop.

After reading this book, I had one of my first pangs of Kindle regret since purchasing the device a little over a year ago. Girls in White Dresses is t
This book embodies everything I can't stand about some women! How they can be completely pathetic when it comes to love and relationships. Every character (don't even ask me their names bc I couldn't keep up) was involved in one train wreck after another. The most infuriating part is that each women single handedly sabotaged every relationship they were in! I knew it was bad when I started siding with the men the majority of the time. I thought I was going to read a book about women finding out ...more
Kelly (TheWellReadRedhead)
I really enjoyed this book! There are two things that make it stand out for me vs other chick lit. One, the characters are going through very average, every day events--they don't get into these crazy, ridiculous situations that you see in some other novels of this genre (ie. Becky Bloomwood's entire existence in the Shopaholic series). But that doesn't mean their lives are boring. Instead, it's fun to read because they are going through things that nearly every girl in her late 20s/early 30s ca ...more
This wasn't a bad book, and in fact the writing was quite good. Normally I'm not a fan of the whole interrelated story style, but I enjoyed it here. I think my problem is that despite the fact that I'm the same age as all the women in the stories, I couldn't relate to them at all. They're so focused on trivial things, they make terrible choices, they settle for men they don't seem to love in order to avoid being alone. I really need characters that I can like more if I'm going to like a book. Al ...more
Samantha Smith
So I'm a big fan of chick-lit and this book came recommended to me by another librarian. Recommended!! Honestly I can't imagine why anyone would recommend this book. It is terrible!! I love books about young twenty-somethings figuring out who they are and books about thirty-somethings making a life for themselves. I love relationship books. I thought this book had all the components to make me really enjoy it. I can enjoy even the silliest chick-lit novel. But come on. All these characters were ...more
I go through this phase every summer. It gets hot, I don't feel like wearing make-up or drying my hair, I wear as little as possible, and I stop wanting to read anything serious. My collection suddenly looks tired, everything seems too long. I want to read something quick, refreshing, light: see Traveling Pants, Millenium Trio, Hunger Games. I start looking at Fluff and Chick Lit books in a new way. Sometimes, GASP, I actually like them. Which is basically why I picked up this piece of crap.

I didn't like it, but I enjoyed it, if that makes any sense.

This was an extremely readable book. The observations were funny and the situations identifiable. However, as some other reviewers observed, the narration and characters get mired in the negatives, and there were not enough positives to make this novel work for me. I felt like my own past ten years of rage had been distilled into one book. Reading this at times felt cathartic, but mostly made me frustrated, as I don't really think I wan
Natalie (Natflix&Books)

Find an updated review for this book on my blog: Natflix&Books where I explain the jump from four to five stars.

I loved Girls in White Dresses. I flew through it, ignoring almost everything else to get to the end. Each chapter is written like a short story, which is my favorite format for a novel. It is melancholy and funny and just oh-so-true. It tells the stories of a group of friends after college as they start to navigate their lives in the city. Their jobs and relationships, wedding sh
Ashley Deniz
When Amazon sent me a recommendation for this book I was so excited. I am in that exact place in my life where I am single and going to all my friends' wedding and wedding showers (I went to two wedding this past month, really I am there), so I expected this book to be phenomenal and shed light into this difficult time in many womens' lives.

What I read in this book angered me beyond all measure. First of all even casually mentioning marijuana is inappropriate. You do know that marijuana is illeg
Jennifer Close portrayal of twenty-something women trying to navigate the adult world of careers, boyfriends, husbands, babies, and the changes that these life events bring to their friendships with their girlfriends is spot on. As a twenty something myself, I knew the plights Isabella, Mary, and Lauren faced as they sent out countless resumes, dated the wrong guy in search of the right one, or ended up in a dead end job that was just supposed to pay the bills until the career job materialized.

I'm having trouble deciding if I liked this book or not. It was about three best friends Isabella, Mary and Lauren. Yet it took me about half the book to figure this out. The book is laid out with each chapter focusing on a different person. This made it a little confusing. Since I neither loved nor hated this book I decided to split this review into two parts: the good and the bad.

The Good:

I like how none of the characters in this book had perfect lives. They dealt with situations that everyday
Eileen Granfors
Wow, was I surprised when I read the other reviews of this book after posting my own. Come on, people, laugh a little! Too many of the Amazon reviewers complained about either the girls' vocabulary or their "insignificant" adventures. Our daily lives are usually a mix of the mundane and the routine. The great adventure may be around the corner. Chronicling the lives of women in their "freshman year of life," Close gives her characters the chance to take nothing and make it something or not.

I tho
Aug 17, 2011 Erica added it
I read this in galley form (got it at BEA at the urging of my friend Maya), and the back cover copy compares it to The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing. I'm always skeptical of those sorts of comparisons, but in this case I have to say the book completely delivered.

Girls in White Dresses is a novel-in-stories (side note: sometimes it makes me sad that we have to call collections of linked stories "a novel-in-stories" in order to get them more attention. why don't we love short stories for what
The description on the inside jacket cover of this book says “wickedly funny and utterly recognizable.” That is pure marketing bullshit, unless of course you mean ‘utterly recognizable’ as a synonym for “eye-rollingly cliché and reminiscent of every single episode of Sex and the City, or Friends, or (insert the young singles dating sitcom of your choice) ever made, ever.” The wickedly funny part is just wrong. I think I may have smiled twice, and I got incredibly angry at these ridiculous women ...more
Jennifer Close's debut novel Girls in White Dresses explores the complexity of being a single woman. The novel follows the lives of three women, Lauren, Isabella and Mary, as they navigate the often treacherous waters of relationships, friendships, work, and the fear of the unknown. The novel is told in a series of connecting stories and is a wonderful approach as it allows the reader to observe small moments within the lives of these women. Each character is real and authentic and the writing i ...more
I really enjoyed Girls in White Dresses and found the three main characters in their 20s to be totally relatable. It was an easy read but entertaining and I was happy that Close didn't wrap up each girl's story in a nice little pink bow. It was funny, truthful, and engaging. What a great debut for a first-time novelist.
Beth Orsoff
This is not really a novel but a bunch of short stories with overlapping character strung together. If you like reading slice of life books about women in their twenties, you might like this book. If you like books that tell a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end, then this one is a pass.

I didn’t dislike these characters, but I never really connected with any of them either. That could be because the author kept switching points-of-view and after a while I couldn’t even remember who was
I've been searching on and off for good old-school-Meg-Cabot-style chick lit. I feel like I've read some in the last several years that I enjoyed, but most of it has been disappointing, and I fall back into romances, which are actually more interesting and varied, on the whole.

This was no different.

It looked cute! The flap gave cute, flippant descriptions of three friends in their twenties navigating their personal and professional lives while everyone around them gets married. I am down with th
First off, I received a promotional edition of "selected short stories" with a magazine purchase, not the full volume of stories. The four stories/chapters in this copy are: 1) The Rules of Life (Isabella), 2) The Peahens (Abby), 3) Black Diamond, Blue Square (Isabella), and 4) Flushing Willard (Lauren).

I guess the stories are like many of those between friends finding themselves in their young adulthood. I found some of these female characters to be a bit whiny, and all of them to be very insec
Amanda Muchmore
I read this book during a 6 hour car ride home from vacation. I finished the whole thing with almost an hour to spare. It wasn't terrible, and the writing was witty and almost entertaining... the story just wasn't great, or even good in my opinion. This book never really progresses. There is no climax or true plot. It just follows a few girls nearing the end of their young-adult stage who act way to young for their age, are incredibly insecure, and don't have any standards when it comes to datin ...more
Patti Moyles
Did not love this book, not sure I even liked it. While the format (each chapter was like a short story) helped me finish it (I usually don't finish books I don't like) the format was also my one of my problems with it. I felt like the format kept me from really getting to know the characters. They were just this superficial group of girls who went to school together--I felt you never really learned anything more about them, or why the were friends and stayed friends for so long. My other proble ...more
The best thing about this book was the cover graphic. Such a pretty picture.

I borrowed this from the library because the blurb sounded interesting (although I hated the last book i read about young women whose friends are all getting married...note to self, steer clear next time).

Where to begin? There were too many characters and story lines to keep track of (in addition to the main girls, there were storylines dedicated to random coworkers, sisters, boyfriends, parents, roommates). All were ann
Diane Mulligan
This one isn't close to the hype. The prose is so plain that the narrative voice can only be described as journalistic, which doesn't suit a character driven story at all. Everything is told matter of factly instead of being shown through scenes and description. I found the characters generally sympathetic, but Close only scratches the surface of her numerous POV characters. If you are a single, urban, white woman in your 20s or 30s, the characters and situations feel familiar, which I suppose ...more
It started out as mildly entertaining and then spiraled downhill into a vodka, martini and tequila soaked disaster. Reasons for my disgust below:

1. There is no plot. How did this book get published? There is no conflict, no resolution. NOTHING REALLY HAPPENS THROUGH THE WHOLE BOOK!
2. Ms. Close manages to reinforce society's perception of single women. Apparently if you didn't get that ring by spring your final year of college you are destined to move to a hip, happening city, rent a tiny apartm
Jill Heather
Girls in white dresses is a good book. It's not great -- the revolving cast of characters makes it hard to remember who is who among the secondary characters, and the relationships the three main characters have with men are rather sketchy, the negative aspects played up, the positive ones hidden -- but the main characters are distinct, and their relationships with each other ring true.

The book is somewhere between a novel and a set of interconnected stories. The stories are too connected to be
As a 20-something, this book definitely answers a lot of the questions I have about the impending decade of "growing up," such as: how much longer is it still acceptable to drink a bottle and a half of wine a night? (answer: always), what do I do when all my friends are getting married? (answer: drink wine), and do I ever have to feel old? (answer: never).

It's like sex and the city without the annoying Carrie and with the acknowledgement of the semi-poverty that most post grads find themselves i
I loved every inch of this book. It's not your typical chick novel where everyone gets a happy ending and life is perfect. It's completely relatable, from the hangovers and summer sausage to the ambivalence about life in general and men in particular, to the annoyance that is every bridal shower but your own and to what we really think when our friends have kids. It's also very wry. I love Isabella so much, and Lauren. This is just a really great book. I can see how it wouldn't be for everyone, ...more
Sep 08, 2011 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kate by: Ann Kingman, BOTNS
Shelves: plus-11-in-11
Quick, enjoyable read for a rainy afternoon, this is a story of a group of friends and the decade after college graduation. They struggle with jobs, boyfriends and choices about their futures. The author captures the angst of women, trying to decide if and when marriage and motherhood is the choice they want to make. At times, the characters are self-indulgent and whiny, but I think this is a sign of their age as well as their place in middle class society; they have not grown up enough to be mo ...more
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Jennifer Close was born and raised on the North Shore of Chicago. She is a graduate of Boston College and received her MFA in Fiction Writing from The New School in 2005. She worked in New York in magazines for many years and then in Washington, D.C., as a bookseller. Girls in White Dresses is her first book.
More about Jennifer Close...
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“Sometimes she missed people before they even left her, got depressed about a vacation being over before it started.” 48 likes
“In college, twenty-nine had seemed impossibly old. By now, she'd thought, she'd be married and have kids. But as each year went by, she didn't feel much different than she had before. Time kept going by and she was just here, the same.” 28 likes
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