Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “What She Saw...” as Want to Read:
What She Saw...
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

What She Saw...

3.11 of 5 stars 3.11  ·  rating details  ·  967 ratings  ·  75 reviews
A fresh (in more than one sense) and honest new voice in fiction is extravagantly displayed in this first novel that candidly dissects modern romance.

Plagued with weird parents, an underdeveloped body, and a mind on the verge of self-deconstruction, Phoebe Fine feels ill-equipped for a journey through the hardening chambers of the late twentieth-century heart. But from fif
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 4th 2001 by Anchor (first published September 12th 2000)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about What She Saw..., please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about What She Saw...

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie KinsellaCan You Keep a Secret? by Sophie KinsellaBridget Jones's Diary by Helen FieldingSomething Borrowed by Emily GiffinThe Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
Favorite Chick-Lit
436th out of 1,547 books — 3,944 voters
Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie KinsellaThe Undomestic Goddess by Sophie KinsellaConfessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie KinsellaRemember Me? by Sophie KinsellaTwenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
Have You Read This Chick-lit?
310th out of 833 books — 818 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I couldn't put this book down, but i tend to have a morbid sense of humor. The main character is deeply depressed. At the same time I had a very sick fascination with learning more about her. If you are looking for a cute pick me up romantic story this is not it. I think the main problem for most people is that Phoebe is extremely unsympathetic, but what I appreciated is that the author never pretends otherwise. The character thinks too much, smokes too much, sleeps around too much, doesn't eat ...more
Jul 04, 2009 Anna rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: kindle
A completely unlikable main character made this book torture to get through. She goes through each guy she has ever dated, like or looked at chapter by chapter. I found myself rooting for her to stay alone and miserable.
I've never been so excited and pleased to finish a book. This was absolutely the worst thing I've read in months and I would not recommend this book to a friend, enemy or neutral acquaintance. Had I not spent the week reading this book, and had I not had a reading goal for the year, I would have abandoned this book after Phoebe Fine's elementary years.

Never in my life have I read a fictional character with so little to sympathize with. Rosenfeld appears to take every negative and depressing hum
Katie Fitzgerald
I'm not sure why I finished this book, when I knew 50 pages in that I wasn't really interested in it. But finish I did, and I have to say, I was left entirely dissatisfied. I don't know if it was the third person point of view that disconnected me from the novel's protagonist, Phoebe Fine, or if it was the repetition of chapter after chapter depicting boring boyfriend after boring boyfriend, but I really felt that this was nothing more than a book of lists about a pretty annoying and unsympathet ...more
I'm not sure which book or blog recommended this book (I think it might have been Nancy Pearl's Book Lust) but it was okay. Most reviews either loved or hated this book but I'm more ambivalent.
Phoebe Fine is a girl growing up in New Jersey at the beginning of this book. She is not the best looking girl, at least in her own estimation, but she yearns for a boyfriend. The rest of the book is an exploration of the rest of Lucy's life, told through the men she hooks up with. This includes high scho
This book is like nothing I’ve ever read before. I was wary to reads this because of the low ratings on goodreads, but I’m glad I did. Phoebe Fine can be an infuriating character. Some decisions she makes can make you laugh or shake your head as well as your fist. I understand how she could be unlikable, but I felt that was what made her human. Phoebe was a myriad of contradictions, but aren’t we all?

Her romantic endeavors made for an entertaining read, I’m so happy I gave this a chance. In a lo
Niko Vercelletto
Feminists be wary, everyone else may find something of value here. While not a particularly well-written book it did resonate with me as a just-turned-20-year-old as a blueprint of what not to do for the rest of my life. The hate of this novel from fellow readers may be because of true dislike of the writing and plot, but perhaps it's more because the life of Phoebe Fine resonates all too well with the reader. It did for me and even if it hadn't, this novel is still an intriguing look into the m ...more
I read this book because it was on the must read books in your 20s list and I absolutely agree. This book is one of those that makes you sooo uncomfortable because you realize how vain and awful we are as human beings. Someone recently told me the pursuit of happiness is a Western cultural construct and after reading this novel, I completely agree.

The story follows Phoebe Fine and her romances from Middle School through her 20s. Each one is a battle to find someone who worships her and who simul
Thrift store find. I don't think I'll finish it.

The beginning was funny and bright, but now we are in poor Phoebe Fine's long terrible teens-early twenties. I didn't really need a reminder of how horrible those years were, but also, there's nothing much to LIKE about Phoebe. She's depressed and has food/anorexia issues, but where's the SPARK of her personality? It's not there. And though I liked, in the beginning, the premise of telling someone's life story through the maze of their (sexual) re
Soon after I read this book, I tossed it out along with my retro polyester pants and orange creepers. The concept of the novel is a clever one and it starts out as being cute and funny. Even as a gay male, I could identify with Phoebe and a lot of her unwise choices in men.
Then somewhere along the line, the book loses what little bit of charm it has and suddenly you're finding yourself not liking Phoebe that much. As each man revolves his way through her life, you begin to dislike her and her ch
This book chronicles the love life of a “chick” from middle school to early twenties. Each chapter is entitled “in Guy X”. So the title of each chapter is, “What she saw in Guy X.” The premise is clever, and it works. The character is all too believable, exhibiting a lack of self esteem and poor choices all throughout her love career. I did not like the protagonist and found her shallow and uninteresting. The fact that the book ends with the protagonists early 20s is also a let down. Basically, ...more
Tina Madan
The book was an easy read, but was recommended to read in my 20s. It was awful at describing romance and dating at this age. But! It was wonderful at describing what it should be, which is not what the main character is going through. She is unlike able after high school and eventually the narration tells the reader that she is aware of how she's being detrimental to herself. And she puts herself into a low, no self respect position that makes me feel so much better about my own self. I would ha ...more
This book was an overdose of less than desirable modern life. I identified more than I cared to. Because it was good I felt nauseous reading it. The ending was what I predicted - it wasn't an answer to anything but it was the only plausible answer to her life.
Jul 27, 2008 Nickoleta rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Nickoleta by: my sister Voula
It's been years since I first read this...I remember the first chapter about the German pen pal was hysterically funny, but I lost interest after that. Yet I kept reading, hoping it would get better...and I don't think it did.
best. chicklit. ever. phoebe fine goes through her history of men. one man per chapter. my favorite is pablo miles and how the sexualize the topography of the apartment. i steal that line a lot.
I was disturbed by the ease with which Phoebe's entered into and out of relationships. There was very little substance and quality in her esteem. It was as though Phoebe didn't know what she wanted -- and was easily manipulated into believing something had a purpose. All too often, Phoebe put herself into unthinkable and naive situations, and felt it was ok or was just too lazy to get out.

There was very little character development and purpose to her life. There were no life lessons in this sto
Each chapter of this book is about a different romantic interest in Phoebe's love life. She's the progeny of a music-geek family and her older sister is leaving big footprints for Phoebe to follow in. This is a coming of age story and one that I could certainly identify with, at least from the viewpoint toward the string of unsuited suitors. As the reader and one who recalls with vivid memories the various loves of her life in chapters, I could easily ride the emotional rollercoaster the protago ...more
Kimberly Ann
Easy read. I liked how raw it was. A little raunchy. But somehow relatable in ways. A good guilty pleasure read.
This was a really good coming-of-age but never really getting there kind of book. I identified with Phoebe and then she went batshit on me. But the character descriptions made me laugh and I didn't want to stop reading about this girl even though I stopped understanding her compulsion to make a mess of her life. I actually liked that all of Phoebe's worst characteristics were shown because I know there have been times where I thought all I had were my worst features. I relate to painting the wor ...more
Sometimes I need some chick lit...I don't really remember anything about this book.
Shayna Marks
This got rave reviews. I don't know why.
Chaquel Roye
So, I definitely didn't like the main character. She is extremely selfish and jealous. However, there are things that I could relate to such as body image issues and not knowing exactly what you want out of life. Yet, I will say that I found myself a little depressed after reading it. Not because I was done, but because the main character's attitude towards like is an absolute downer. I kept hoping she would snap out of it, but she never did. Regardless, there were some funny parts, so it wasn't ...more
Jul 24, 2015 Elle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Ages 25+ both Women & Men
Recommended to Elle by: Buzzfeed
Shelves: discover-dragons
This was a novel that was easy to read, well-written, and has left me thinking less about the character Phoebe and more about my own late adolescent self. The story, told by Phoebe, is structured around the men that romantically (or should I say sexually?) color her life. It is, if not unnervingly similar to the questions and experiences I imagine most young adult women go through to some degree, illuminating to read as an older 20-something who is married with a daughter of her own.

The novel mo
Brooke Bunce
This book was endlessly frustrating, with a vacuous central character who continued to make the same mistakes over and over again. I guess that was the point, and at times I hated myself for actually identifying and relating to Phoebe, but it still left me with a "meh" sort of feeling. What did the character learn? How did she grow? Who WAS she, really? One of the cover quotes compared this book to Erica Jong's "Fear Of Flying," but I think this one lacked the extreme perceptional depth of "Flyi ...more
Johanna Descoins
Up until page 260 (out of 284) I was so incredibly tempted to throw this book in the recycling. As other reviewers have mentioned, the main character is so unsympathetic and such a gross caricature of a human being that she's literally painful to read about, and impossible to care about. I have never met a person or a fictional character with so few redeeming qualities (or really, no redeeming qualities.) Reading this book felt like being forced to hang out with a truly, truly awful person.
What She Saw... was refreshingly different from the other novels I've been reading lately (The Emperor's Children, the Divergent trilogy, etc) so I definitely can't say I didn't enjoy it. I'm assuming the theme of this novel is simply that you can pick yourself up and move on after any terrible relationship, as our protagonist Phoebe certainly does time and time again. Still, I was left wanting more. I wanted the author to answer my question of "How am I different after reading this? What can I ...more
I was absolutely thrilled with the format and raw honesty of this book. Did I love the main character? As all the other reviewers have pointed out, no, I did not love the main character. Phoebe is a depressed narcissistic anorexic and is actually quite boring. But the point of the book for me was that it doesn't matter what Phoebe was actually like, being young means learning about yourself through experience and often through the eyes of those people who you wish would love you, or that you lov ...more
May 03, 2014 Rachel rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
This was a quick/fun read. While my list of boyfriends is smaller than Phoebe's, many of her relationships had familiar quirks and emotions. The novel's relatability (is that a word?) is its strength, and the humor helps too. As I read, I also noticed that the numbered characters on the front really did match up with their chapters, looks-wise, so that was fun. It did take some time to warm up to Phoebe herself; a first person point-of-view might have won me over quicker, though in the end she j ...more
James Wagner
“Well, let it pass, he thought;
April is over, April is over.
There are all kinds of love in the world,
but never the same love twice."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Sensible Thing, 1924, from the preface of What She Saw...: A Novel

"Moreover, there were times when she thought she loved Kevin, too. Though what she probably loved even more than Kevin was the idea of someone being in love with her. It seemed like a radical notion. It seemed like the 'real thing.'"

― Lucinda Rosenfeld, What She Saw...: A No
Min Wan
What She Saw... takes the reader through the odyssey that is Phoebe's love life. It is interesting to watch Phoebe grow up before our eyes, beginning with a sweet, curious kid to a messed-up adult still in search of love and fulfillment. autocom cdp pro The men that come into Phoebe's life sometimes stay, most often go, but always leave behind a piece of themselves that Phoebe carries with her. It is also interesting to see how each relationship develops and how, ultimately, they crumble. By the ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
赣州软件开发 1 5 May 17, 2015 06:11AM  
  • Alien vs. Predator
  • How's Your Drink?: Cocktails, Culture, and the Art of Drinking Well
  • Dear Diary
  • The Collected Poems
  • Lucy
  • My Misspent Youth: Essays
  • I Love Dick
  • Quicksand and Passing
  • Oh the Glory of it All
  • Actual Air
  • How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
  • How to Cook Everything: The Basics: Simple Recipes Anyone Can Cook
  • The Rachel Papers
  • The Deptford Trilogy: Fifth Business/The Manticore/World of Wonders
  • The Collected Poems
  • I Don't Care About Your Band: Lessons Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I've Dated
  • Anthony Bourdain Omnibus: Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour
  • Up in the Old Hotel
Lucinda Rosenfeld is the author of four novels, including THE PRETTY ONE: a novel about sisters, to be published by Little Brown in February 2013. She lives in Brooklyn NY with her husband and two young daughters--and is the youngest of three sisters. For the record, while growing up, Lucinda was considered "the athletic one."
More about Lucinda Rosenfeld...
The Pretty One: A Novel about Sisters I'm So Happy for You Why She Went Home: A Novel

Share This Book

“Things are really fucked up right now. We hardly see each other anymore and when we do, we go to sleep on opposite sides of the bed” 10 likes
“She had a thing for cocky assholes. When they expressed interest in her it seemed meaningful. When nice guys hit on her, she had trouble caring. ” 5 likes
More quotes…