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Mercury in Retrograde: A Novel

3.11 of 5 stars 3.11  ·  rating details  ·  1,021 ratings  ·  186 reviews
When Mercury is in retrograde, the only guarantee is anything that can go wrong, will.

Penelope Mercury, an intrepid reporter at the New York Telegraph, has pounded the pavement for five years from city borough to borough, carrying out her boss's eccentric orders to break stories that seem inconsequential to everyone but him. Finally, she is inches away from being promote
ebook, 272 pages
Published June 2nd 2009 by Atria Books (first published May 15th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,182)
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Ket Lamb
If you're a devoted follower of the New York Post's Page 6, you'll probably devour this semi-entertaining, albeit predictable, tale of twentysomethings in the city. Sloppy syntax, shallow characters, and a story that doesn't get started until almost a third of the way through, however, will test every one else's attention. So will Lipstick's silly name. (Do you really want to read about a protagonist named after a cosmetic?) Granted, the title refers to a planetary phenomenon, but it's never pro ...more
When does 2 + 2 + 4 + 2 + 3 + 2 = 1 star? For me it happened in the process of writing my review for Mercury in Retrograde by Paula Froelich. First, a few disclaimers: In general, I am not a reader of chick-lit, I have never seen an episode of Sex in the City, and I have never spent time in New York. However, since my day job (I’m a junior high school teacher) is pretty demanding, I sometimes want to unwind after an evening of grading papers and writing lesson plans by reading something relative ...more
Rachel Bussel
have to admit, I was a little skeptical of a book with a main character named Lipstick, but Paula Froelich won me over with this juicy, fun read that's perfect for anyone who's ever lived in New York, worked a crappy job, had their family expect too much of them, or had relationship troubles. In other words, everyone. Riffing on the world she knows well, Froelich has reporter Penelope Mercury running all over the city under horrible conditions, only to be fired and wind up with one of the crazie ...more
Jun 27, 2009 Robin rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like lighter fiction
Recommended to Robin by: ARC from Shelf Awareness
Shelves: fiction, 2009-list, arcs
It was odd when I received the ARC for this title because it had an entirely different cover than the one you see pictured here. What they did for the promotional copy was to use quotes from the blurbs different writers wrote about the title. Clever but confusing for me because when I saw the cover I expected an entirely different kind of book!

But, that said, I enjoyed this book and it was fast reading. I'm sure both my sister or sister-in-law who read a lot will enjoy this too. Another odd aspe
I stopped reading chick-lit after I graduated college. None of the books on the shelves had stories that appealed to me anymore. They were all rehashings of the same girl-meets-boy-communication-fails-hilarity-and-awkwardness-ensues story. The tried-and-true chick-lit authors no longer appealed to me, either. I simply dropped the genre altogether. I gave Mercury in Retrograde a chance simply because it was recommended by a feminist site I read. It's an easy read and the characters are approachab ...more
Kasia S.
Initially I really didn't like the book, maybe the fact that the word p@nis all ready appeared at the bottom of the first page, to me chick lit is supposed to be warm and fun, fuzzy and hilarious with a real sparkle and this felt like a narrative of the characters and why their lives are so whacky. Once I got into the book more I was laughing at some parts, especially when the meeting at Y magazine where Lena Lippencrass works ( socialite wanna be) was going over latest beauty trends and the wor ...more
For most of my adult life, I made sure to steer clear of what is derisively termed “Chick Lit” because of what I assumed it represented: the sad, single female looking for her metaphorical (or actual) prince to swoop in and save her from her mundane existence and show her how wonderful being a helpmate could be. (I think I just threw up a little). After reading an article by the unfortunately named author Jennifer Weiner last year, however, in which she eloquently slams those who slam Chick Lit, ...more
Yet another NYC chick-lit name-dropping frothy book.
Not terrible, but it is what it is.
Not as good as Tatiana Boncampagni for the same flavor, quite like Lauren Weisberger, but infinitely better than the loathsome Candace Bushnell, whose whore-oines have been inexplicably misunderstood as some kind of warped symbols of female empowerment.
It made a decent bath book, if you ignore some absolute howlers in the writing.
It was a piece of crap. BUT, I secretly enjoyed it cuz I need something easy to read during my challenging workouts. Three chicks, separate lives brought together by one hipster apartment building in Manhattan. There were actually a few glimmers of funny but overall, just another smarmy chic lit book that doesn't make the grade. Dammit.
It was dreck. The author clearly doesn't have much faith in the intelligence of her readers. And, yes, I went into reading this thinking that it would be a nice, simple, frothy trifle of escapism. Instead, it read like a stilted cross-hybrid of chick lit and the Dick and Jane series.
Amy Koenig
Apart from the author's obvious disdain of the state of Ohio, her misguided use of words like "tranny" and "she-male," even in casual conversation, were enough to make me quit this book.
i don't know what i expected-- it was written by the woman who edits page 6. it's cute... but i feel like i'm dumber now.
Mercury In Retrograde, a book about living with crazy roommates, was the only sensible choice to read on a weekend getaway with my husband, sister, and my sister's boyfriend. This chick lit book followed three women living in New York who befriended each other when their lives fell apart. Penelope struggled to work in the entertainment industry, Lipstick attempted to prove to her socialite parents she didn't need their financial help, and overworked lawyer Dana was rebounding from a divorce. The ...more
I saw a review recently that gave this book one star. I totally disagree. This book was funny, smart and entertaining.

The book is named for the title character, Penelope Mercury, who is a struggling reporter at a mid-level, slightly tabloid-y newspaper. The opening pages find Penelope having a serious FML day as she has to chase a story in the freezing cold with a photographer who won't let her ride in her car, while she battles a horrible head cold and a tyrannical boss. Also featured are Lena
Aug 09, 2009 Claire rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: this is amusing chick lit
Shelves: grownup-books
A contemporary novel set in New York City when Mercury goes into retrograde and cuts a swath through the lives of three women, who in normal circumstances would Never meet. Penelope Mercury is an entry level reported for an Enquirer type tabloid aspiring to move from covering stories on the gritty streets to the courtroom beat. The day Mercury slides into place she inadvertently set the newsroom on fire, loses her promotion to a well connected slacker and is shocked to hear the word, "I quit!" l ...more
Kathy Hiester

I thoroughly enjoyed Mercury in Retrograde by Paula Froelich's . I expected a hint into a kind of daily life that I have always wanted, one with money, glitz, and glamour. What I got was a comedic story that archives real people. It entails three women whose positions place them in each other's pathways and whose choices create new lives for each of them.
Penelope Mercury, the first character and the namesake of the novel has to go to great lengths to keep what is in effect a horrible job but whe
Jane Sandberg
Okay, I started this book knowing that I wasn't going to like it. I've never been a big fan of celebrity gossip, and I am almost completely disinterested in fashion. However, I wound up disliking the book for completely different reasons.

The book bills itself as the story of three women who are unexpectedly drawn together, and develop a friendship that helps them as they are flung into one crazy scenario after another. That sounds okay, right? Too bad the plot winds up working more like this:
Yes, it's an easy read. Yes, it is a book to get away with. Yes, there is a character named "Lipstick". But don't let that frighten you away!

I thought this was a clever "upper-class meets middle-class" book of how friends can come from the strangest places. Three very different young women in three very different stages in their lives help each other make it through to tomorrow. A rich girl with a $7,000-a-dress habit, a lawyer who's lost herself, and an advertising lifer with nowhere to go but
Jane Reader
This review is from: Mercury in Retrograde: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
There are three intertwining stories in this novel: that of Penelope Mercury, Dana Gluck and Lena Lippencrass. Penelope is a struggling journalist hoping for a rise in pay and position to court reporter, but sadly it's a no-go after she's sent to the wrong address by her boss and they get into it on her return to work. Penelope is sick--flu-like from the sound of it--and vomits on her boss before heading to the storage room for
Mercury in Retrograde is chick-lit in all its glory, with close glimpses inside the life of socialites and fashion designers. The novel is incredibly short under 300 pages, making the novel a fast and fun read, but also not lasting long enough for readers who truly enjoy the chick-lit genre.

This book is very light and enjoyable once you get used to the cadence of the author's style. It was heavy for me personally at first, only because I do not keep up with socialite and fashionistas in general,
Jennifer Hall
Mercury in Retrograde by Paula Froelich
I have read this book twenty times and love it. Mercury in Retrograde follows the lives of several women who meet by chance and form a lifelong friendship. Together the women gain strength and comfort from each other and are able to overcome every obstacle that is thrown at them. My personal rating is off the charts for this book.
I saw Paula Froelich on Real Time with Bill Maher a while back and really liked her spunk and wit. Based on that, I looked forward to reading her first novel. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed. Though a bit of that spunk and wit does come through in Froelich's writing, much of the story is quite formulaic and predictable. The story is about three young women in NYC who find each other at tumultuous times in their lives. I've already seen much of Penelope's storyline in Bridget Jones' Di ...more
I admit I was surprised by how engaging I found this book; though it does center on the lives of three young women in NY, it was certainly not your standard chick-lit offering. All three main characters are complex and watching them work through their personal and professional crises made for an excellent read. Froelich herself seems to understand the possible limitations of the genre, and injects sufficient warmth and humor into the novel to help it rise above the pack. Though I admit everythin ...more
I really liked it. It's a happy, feel-good story with happy endings. It's a great book for young women who are trying to find themselves in "the real world". Major themes include love, friendship, and careers and the women navigating their way through each of these.
Despite a mildly formulaic feel and a very happy but a little too pat ending, I was surprised at how thoroughly I enjoyed reading this book. Three down-on-their-luck women end up in the same SoHo apartment building and rebuild their lives largely through their helpful and often hilarious interactions with one another. Each character is well-conceived and carefully drawn, and watching them wrestle with personal and professional failures (and eventually successes!)was made highly engaging by Froel ...more
I was one of the lucky winners of a free copy of this book through Goodreads. The book got better as it went, and had some very funny parts. The three plot lines tied loosly together, as these very different women came to help each other as friends do. In the end their lives, while connected, where still independent of one another. I'm used to reading novels with one strong plot line so this was a little different reading experience for me. If I reread it I would take more time to tie The horosc ...more
Fun, easy, good vacation read. Likable characters, light romance, interesting view of New York society.
Penelope Mercury is a suddenly out-of-work reporter, Lena (Lipstick) Lippencrass is a rich girl who has just been financially cut off from her parents, and Dana Gluck is a divorcee whose ex-husband has just impregnated a supermodel. The women all end up living in the same Manhattan apartment building. They form a friendship and help each other overcome some of their problems. Some funny moments, but many predictable moments. Overall, a decent listen for the car – I listened to it while running k ...more
Such a predictable book - just another NYC story with a socialite angle. And, I will say, jumping between characters WITHIN chapters is super annoying - and this book does it the entire time. I liked each character - at least they didn't let themselves get walked all over - but I could have told you what would have happened. Such a bust. And I am really tired of NYC books. I LOVE NYC and would live there in a second. But all books these days are the same story/characters, etc. about NYC women. A ...more
funny entertaining story of three different women who find that sometimes things happen when you least expect it!
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Paula Froelich is the New York Times best-selling author of the debut novel, “Mercury In Retrograde.” She is best known in New York for being the deputy editor of the New York Post’s gossip column, Page Six, where she worked for ten years until June, 2009. She was also a correspondent for “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider” from 2002 to 2006 and has appeared as a guest on “The View,” “Real T ...more
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