Rebecca's Reviews > Citizen Girl

Citizen Girl by Emma McLaughlin
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's review
Mar 03, 2011

liked it

I like the pace, the protagonist is intelligent and humble and it's easy to see her point of view, however isolated and limited it may be. The vague catchall character names ("Girl", "Guy", "Buster," etc.) seem just a little baffling--especially since some characters have real-sounding names, and others have a one-word description of their personality for their name.
I like that I often agree with the other characters' take on Girl: as they point out, she can often be pathetic, needy, clueless and a prude. She gives me the impression of a young woman who grew up receiving (and expecting) a ribbon after every softball game, whether her team won or lost--or if the game was rained out. After every work assignment, she seems surprised when the opposing team doesn't shake her hand and say "good game!" She is often so busy judging everyone around her as "wrong" that she allows herself few pleasures. Same goes for her career success: she is constantly begging for an intern's orientation and step-by-step guidebook on how to do a job that is clearly evolving at the pace of her very own ideas. Thankfully, everyone is doing their best to tough-love her into growing up--which to me would occur the moment she stops pointing out all that is "wrong" and comes up with her own stable vision of what she actually wants and makes the commitment to go after it.
Overall, I was entertained and interested. The authors use dialogue masterfully, and I was impressed with how scenes transitioned. Further, I avidly read each scene to its end--the resolution of a conflict was never predictable. The story reminded me of my own days as mentee, when we look to those who've gone before us to fill our lingering need for mommy, if only momentarily. It also awoke memories of my own move to California and the disorientation of so many exposed toes and close-fitting clothes after being raised on stockings, heavy footwear and the modesty of a warm coat.

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