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Ten Girls to Watch

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,491 ratings  ·  309 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
Paperback, 368 pages
Published July 31st 2012 by Washington Square Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,491 ratings  ·  309 reviews

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Sep 10, 2013 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 31, 2012 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
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
Sep 27, 2012 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 ...more
Aug 28, 2012 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
Aug 01, 2012 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" ...more
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had a great experience reading this book, largely due to the charming and memorable narrator, Dawn. An aspiring writer stuck just below the lowest rung of publishing, Dawn is both touchingly honest and hilariously funny, and I laughed many times at the clever and surprising descriptions and references throughout the story. This is a book about women, and I loved the variety of unique, real feeling characters and appreciated that none of them ever dipped into cattiness or cliche. The author ...more
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was probably more like 3.5 overall. I did really enjoy this, I liked the focus on all the women in the novel and the profiles of them, and Dawn was a great protagonist and very relatable. I liked that she didn't have her shit together at 23 and was struggling with both professional and personal things. I just thought the book dragged a lot in the middle, it took me a really long time to actually finish it.

My absolute favorite thing, though, was (view spoiler)
Tesia Lewis
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Of the handful of friends I have outside of social media, only one of them has a love of books that is equal to mine - even if the types of books we enjoy are incredibly different. This friend gave me a copy of Ten Girls to Watch by Charity Shumway that was an advanced reader’s copy from over five years ago. I don’t remember the story of how she got it - from another friend, I believe - but she said it had been collecting dust on her shelf and she gave it to me. In all honesty, I was a little ...more
Denise Oyler
Nov 07, 2012 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
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
Kelly Hager
Jul 22, 2012 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 ...more
May 17, 2013 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
Jackie Lane
Jun 15, 2012 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
Sabrina Laitinen
Sep 17, 2012 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.

Sep 24, 2012 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 ...more
Aug 20, 2012 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 ...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
Talk Supe
Jul 25, 2012 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,
Jul 19, 2013 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
Sep 05, 2012 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!
Lauren McKeon 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 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.
Feb 14, 2012 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!
Lindsay Goeckeritz
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a really fun easy, breezy read. Very beach friendly!
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I found myself savoring this book and the life lessons provided by the women within.
Aug 19, 2013 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.
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Really cute story idea -- Dawn West, a recent college graduate attends a Hamptons party with her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend, Lily. He is a pretzel heir and the party is an annual event for the company. Dawn, looking for a job, writes for a lawn blog under an alias, and is introduced to Regina, the editor of Charm magazine, by Lily. Regina recognizes Dawn's lawn care work - her husband is a fan - and gives her a temporary job contacting past winners of the magazine's Ten Girls to Watch ...more
Lindsay Heller
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Well, this was a very cute book about a girl struggling her way through a post college move to New York. I love post college New York books. They're sort of a genre unto themselves. But this tread a fine line between cute and serious. Amid a final breakup with her on again off again college boyfriend, Dawn West finally gets a job, albeit a tempory one, seeking out the past winners of Charm magazine's Ten Girls to Watch contest for the fiftieth anniversary edition. Dawn's struggles were real and ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Apr 23, 2017 10:49AM  

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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
“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.” 19 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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