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Ten Girls to Watch

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  1,296 Ratings  ·  294 Reviews
A radiant debut novel about stumbling through the early years of adulthood; and a love letter to the role models who light the way.

Like so many other recent graduates, Dawn West is trying to make her way in New York City. She's got an ex-boyfriend she can't quite stop seeing, a roommate who views rent checks and basic hygiene as optional, and a writing career that's gotte
Paperback, 368 pages
Published July 31st 2012 by Washington Square Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

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Feb 13, 2016 Beth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
When I finished Ten Girls to Watch, I was speechless. I sat there, looking at the book and waving my hands and trying to come up with something more specific than "That was fabulous." Because it is fabulous. But it also feels like this book deserves more than that. So here are some words.

Ten Girls to Watch centers on Dawn, who is 23 and job-hunting and living in a tiny apartment in Brooklyn while she struggles to pay rent every month. She does something she doesn't respect about herself and goes
Jul 04, 2016 Kerri rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
First, I have to say, I was pretty upset that someone got to writing this book before me. Talk about life imitating art, imitating life. As a 23-year-old with two years out of college under her belt still looking for full-time work in the magazine business, this story definitely hit home for me in many ways.

Second, I was expecting an extremely frothy beach read out of this book. What I got was partly that, yes (this was a very easy, lightweight read) but also partly something much more important
Book Him Danno
I have great things to say about the beginning and the ending of this book….but I have to tell you that the middle just drug…on….and….on. The beginning got me ready to read a fast paced book about love, loss, growing up and growing apart, but the middle left me desperate to put the book down and read something else. The ending made me smile and glad that I had slugged through the middle, but I really wished the middle could have been edited tighter and made more interesting to the reader.

I loved
Jackie Lane
Aug 11, 2012 Jackie Lane rated it really liked it
What a wonderful book by a debut author.

Ten Girls to Watch: A Novel by Charity Shumway was totally unexpected. I was expecting more of a beach read and when I began it and realized it was not going to be a beach read, I was surprised.

This is a story of growing up and lessons learned. Dawn is struggling with all aspects of her life and she gets a chance from the unlikeliest of people, her ex-boyfriend's girlfriend introduces her to Regina, editor of Charm Magazine and this chance meeting turns in
Sep 13, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure about this at first, but then it got REALLY GREAT.

It started out a bit rough and I was kind of worried that it would end up being one of those books that I couldn't relate to because the character would get all these breaks that I haven't gotten and all the women profiled were just magically successful.

But it wasn't that in the end. Instead, it felt like my own life. The way you piece things together and you don't always see where things are leading until you get there. All the sto
Aug 30, 2013 Mary rated it it was ok
As expected this book is fun, easy, single-girl chick lit. It started off really strong with Dawn graduating college and moving to New York to try and make it as a writer. At first I was laughing out loud at Dawn’s wit and charm. Then it took a turn for the worse. I was really put off by her interaction with her ex-boyfriend. She had no backbone and allowed herself to pushed, pulled and treated like crap. I tried not to judge her too harshly because what girl hasn’t been in that situation before ...more
Aug 08, 2012 Erin rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
I feel like a scrooge giving such an optimistic book a low rating, but it read a bit too much like an improbable fairy tale to me. Dawn's string of bad career, romance, and roommate luck seemed piled-on, and the resolutions were far too easily reached. Predictability isn't a problem if the road to the expected ending is filled with interesting twists and turns, but that wasn't the case here. None of the secondary characters and plot lines were interesting to me, and the former "Girls to Watch" t ...more
Dec 29, 2014 Meagan rated it it was amazing
So I read this while hiding away from my 1L Columbia brother and my family, who was convinced *I* needed to get him an internship. ME?

But as this book reminds, there are people with connections, and then there are people with CONNECTIONS.

Reminds me of the days when my favorite activities were reading, crying and sleep.

Oh wait....
May 17, 2013 Ari rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013, 20s
IQ "In her reminder that life is long and you can't just look at one moment and judge your life based on that snapshot" pg. 234

Love that quote, fun book. My only quibble with the ending is how dramatic it was, honestly Dawn had gone through a lot by the end of the book and I did not understand why the author despised her protagonist so (I'm only half joking). I suppose the ending was realistic but at the same time what are the odds that a broke 20-something (I think she's 24)...well I'll stop b
Kelly Hager
Jul 23, 2012 Kelly Hager rated it really liked it
Dawn West is currently just scraping by as a writer. She works (under a pen name) as a lawn care expert, even though she doesn't really know much about it. (Turns out there are books for everything!) Then she gets an awesome temp assignment: find out what happened to all the winners of Charm Magazine's 10 Girls to Watch. Some have gone on to achieve high levels of fame (including an Oprah-like talk show host and media mogul) but most are relatively anonymous---doing great things but not necessar ...more
Sabrina Laitinen
Sep 17, 2012 Sabrina Laitinen rated it it was amazing
This novel begins with Dawn West landing a job with a popular glossy magazine called "Charm" Dawn's grandiose expectations are shattered when she learns that the job will only be temp, and that her office is located in the sub-basement of an older building in a dodgy area of New York.

Her assignment is to locate past winners of the magazine's presigious "Ten Girls To Watch". Dawn will interview and compile the necesary information of these women for an upcoming gala 5oth anniversay celebration.

There are quite a few things I really liked about Ten Girls to Watch. I like Dawn as a character. She’s believable and honestly, quite similar to me. She has a dream that she’s working towards, but she’s not an instant success story, which is something that I loved. So often you’ll read a story where the main character is a struggling, aspiring actress or writer or singer or what-have-you, but by the end of the novel they have a record deal or have written a book or have become really well-off. ...more
Denise Oyler
Nov 09, 2012 Denise Oyler rated it liked it
I did like the author of this book and her writing style. She is clean and very insightful in some of her descriptions. Several parts of this book stuck out to me:

Pg. 32 Regarding second-guessing yourself: "If you're going to try something else first, you need to stop second-guessing yourself." There's time for reflection and course correction if necessary, but you're not there yet." Loved that! Great reminder for me.

Pg. 80 "Unfortunately, her flirtatious fervor sounded like real fury, leading m
Sep 25, 2012 Tavia rated it liked it
More a 3.5, rather than a 3. It's a true chick-lit book, with lots of rah rah inspirational girl power stuff in it. Some parts of the book though I found to be somewhat unrealistic, like why did it seem that almost every one of the Ten Girls To Watch girls over all the years was a total, outrageous success? Why weren't there any (except for the one who it briefly mentioned was in prison for murdering her husband ) who's lives were either ordinary or just a total failure? Even the murderess had r ...more
Probably 4.5 stars, but regardless this was a great book, I would definitely reccomend everyone read it. (it's also probably slightly out of the New Adult genre, but all the mainstays of the genre are there, so)

okay, coherent thoughts:
- I feel like this book is what Girls could have been? Like it seemed like this is what it's really like, 18 months out of college, struggling to find a job & picking up all these odd jobs & trying to get over your college boyfriend & living with a flak
Aug 20, 2012 kaoyler rated it really liked it
I read this book because I read some good reviews. They were right. I found this book delightful and insightful. This is a debut novel for Charity Shumway. Way to go Girl! It follow a young woman who has moved to New York City to become a writer. Dawn, the young woman, struggles to pay to rent, still misses her ex-boyfriend, and has a slug for a roommate. But she gets a temporary job at a magazine researching 50 years of women who have won the "Ten Girls To Watch" award at the magazine. As she t ...more
Talk Supe
Jul 28, 2012 Talk Supe rated it liked it
Full review published at Talk Supe

I love women's literature because the stories are often inspiring regardless if its fiction. I love stories that mirror my journey and sometimes I find strength in a simple phrase or word and next thing I know, it becomes an anthem of sorts. Fueling my drive to become a better version of myself, a reminder that I can be great and that I possess the tenacity to get go through any hurdle in life. TEN GIRLS TO WATCH by Charity Shumway is a good example of this, Daw
Emery Lord
Don't be fooled by the "aspiring girl-writer in the big city" premise...this story is fresh and real, with beautiful writing that also manages to be funny. Two favorite moments:

"Mom treated Dad as if he were some sort of petty villain, like he had a magic purse of gold coins he kept hidden away and if he'd just fish it out, we could finally live."

"It may be based on some leftover Dead Poets Society crush, but I almost always think rolled-up sleeves are hot. Is it because I like wrists? Forearm
May 27, 2014 Alyssa rated it really liked it
Shelves: summer-reads
I really enjoyed this book - it was exactly the lighthearted, uplifting read that I needed. Being a recent college graduate (and writer) myself, I identified with Dawn's struggles in the "real" world. As a character, Dawn has a unique and engaging voice that pulled me along through the story and kept me reading. In addition, the premise itself was original and very interesting.

The book ended perfectly, what I would call an "earned" happy ending - things work out for Dawn, but not in an unrealis
Jul 30, 2015 Kat rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
I love, love, LOVED this book. It is a chit lit book for sure, but it manages to be different. This book tells the story of Dawn, a young woman still desperately struggling to find a real writing job after she’s been a college graduate for over a year and a half. In a lucky turn of events she gets a temporary job working for Charm magazine where she is responsible for re-connecting with all the past winners of the magazine’s annual “Ten Girls to Watch” column. The women are inspirational and Daw ...more
Sep 05, 2012 Beth rated it it was amazing
Such a fun read - one of my favorites of the summer of 2012 if not all time. It would be a wondeful book club read as it is very relatable to many different women. The main character is researching past winners of the fictional Charm magazine's 10 Girls To Watch contest for a 50th anniversary special. In the process of touching base with all these previous winners, she learns a lot about herself and her expectations for her life. It is heartfelt, warm, funny and very entertaining. Loved it!
James Carmichael
Jul 28, 2015 James Carmichael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
I've never really read a book in this genre ("chick-lit", I suppose?), so it's hard for me to distinguish my responses to genre from my responses to this work.

For instance, I sort of had trouble with the uneventfulness of some of the events, particularly in middle 50%. The man back-and-forth, and narratives of the women Dawn interviews.

But I really liked the fact that these interviews had genuine substance; that there was a lot of intelligence in the presentation of them, and that--inasmuch as
Lauren Jenkins

It was reminiscent of "The Devil Wears Prada" and "The Nanny Diaries," but without any of the negativity and cynicism that ran throughout those stories. Dawn manages to fill her world with inspiration -- even in the midst of personal crises -- and most of the people she interacts with are heroes in some way. It will be a wonderful and successful beach book in Summer 2012, I am certain.
Wow this was a good book. I really loved Dawn, the main character, and I identified with her and her personality so well. Really well done. The snapshots of all the different girls at the beg of each chapter were great too, made me feel like they were actual people.
Sep 12, 2012 Amy rated it liked it
A purely entertaining beach read. Great writing for a debut. Loved the main character; loved the life lessons she learns; love that it's not smutty or snotty. Just fun.

Own it and won't read it again. If you want an escape, I'll give it to you.
Apr 15, 2012 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Shumway's debut is an absolute delight to read: fun, chatty, and charming, I couldn't put it down! I look forward to seeing more from this author!
Nov 11, 2013 Shalane rated it it was ok
I liked a lot of this book and the message about failure and success, but I just couldn't ever relate to the main character.
Oct 01, 2012 Shelly rated it it was amazing
I found myself savoring this book and the life lessons provided by the women within.
Lindsay Goeckeritz
Jul 08, 2013 Lindsay Goeckeritz rated it really liked it
This was a really fun easy, breezy read. Very beach friendly!
Yasmin M
Feb 04, 2014 Yasmin M rated it really liked it
This is a great read if you're looking for inspiration. And who isn't, really? Literally any(female)one can relate to the plot and sympathize with the MC.

Dawn is a 23 year old struggling writer; not in a cliche Starbucks kind of way, but in a holy-shit-I'm-broke-and-I-have-a-dream-but-I'm-broke endless modern vicious cycle kind of way. She gets dumped by her petty boyfriend of say 5 or 6 years and gets introduced to her first job possibility in a year by his new girlfriend; Lily. She has to trac
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Charity earned an MFA in creative writing from Oregon State University and a BA in English from Harvard College. Her first novel, Ten Girls to Watch, comes out this July. In 2007, she spent nine months reporting on the 50th Anniversary of Glamour’s “Top Ten College Women” contest, which served as the inspiration for her book. Her writing has appeared in that magazine and has also been published by ...more
More about Charity Shumway...

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“Taking care of yourself is one of the hardest jobs -- don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. It's much easier to take care of others.” 17 likes
“The real question isn't whether you like Robert, it's whether you like yourself when you're with Robert...” 9 likes
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