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Mercury in Retrograde: A Novel

3.11  ·  Rating Details ·  1,096 Ratings  ·  191 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

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Ket Lamb
Jul 19, 2009 Ket Lamb rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 Kramer 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 22, 2009 Robin rated it it was ok  ·  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
Jun 19, 2010 Kasia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 23, 2009 Lexi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 05, 2009 rebekah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 11, 2009 Lora rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 21, 2014 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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.
Christina Hickey
disappointed! thought i was going to have a good time reading this but really was not =(
Jane Sandberg
Jun 27, 2013 Jane Sandberg rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-work
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:
Kathy Hiester
Jan 18, 2011 Kathy Hiester rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Jul 13, 2015 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 15, 2009 Toni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Feb 07, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Jane Reader
Jun 05, 2013 Jane Reader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Aug 09, 2009 Claire rated it liked it  ·  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
Oct 21, 2015 Pam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
"Mercury in Retrograde" is definitely going to be one of the must reads for Summer. The book follows Penelope, Lena (better known as Lipstick), and Dana. When the book begins the women are complete strangers to each other but they meet when a yoga instructor brings them together to do yoga. Then they become fast friends who like to gossip about their lives with each other.

I thought all of the characters were engaging and easy to root for. Even Lipstick, who ordinarily would be one that readers w
Sep 03, 2010 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 07, 2016 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Total fluff in the most delicious way possible. Written by a former Page Six editor, the tone echoes the society pages. The story focuses on three women single for various reasons who all wind up in the same apt building in NYC. The beginning spends copious amounts of time telling, rather than showing, to create backstory and character for each of the women. Character development could have been achieved more compellingly had the author showed and revealed traits through each protagonists relati ...more
Jun 13, 2009 Valerie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
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
May 03, 2009 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
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
Jul 04, 2009 Gina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
I was pleasantly surprised by this one - I LOVED the characters! There was Penelope, a fledgling news reporter, Dana, a workaholic attorney who has buried herself in work after her husband left her for another woman, and Lipstick, a socialite who has just been cut off her by her parents. The girls find themselves living in the same builing in NYC and quickly bond.

Their antics are funny, heart-warming, and will make you want to schedule some quality time with your girlfriends. Very cute read!
Jun 07, 2009 Betsy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great beach read is how I would sum up Mercury in Retrograde. Sometimes fluffy is just the ticket. I liked the vulnerability of the characters and there were many times that I laughed out loud at the characters’ predicaments – especially Penelope’s career foibles at the New York Telegraph and NY Access. I also appreciated the fact that the characters weren’t all ivory tower New Yorkers – they were ‘regular’ Joes with bills to pay and mini-mountains to climb on the way to their fairy tale endin ...more
Apr 19, 2011 Connie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won twelve copies of this book for our book club and we finally got around to reading it! Mercury in Retrograde reads quickly and is reminiscent of Sex and the City. A group of women with seemingly nothing in common become friends due to circumstances that place them in the same apartment building.
While not too "deep" it touches on relationship issues, social status, careers, fashion and romance. The story has some fun humor and a few annoying antagonists. It is a fun read for a beach weekend
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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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