Rebecca's Reviews > All Grown Up

All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg
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it was ok
bookshelves: read-via-edelweiss

Andrea Bern is a 39-year-old New Yorker with an office job and a penchant for taking drugs and sleeping around. She was once an artist, though: she attended art school in Chicago, and used to paint the Empire State Building from her window every day – that is, until a condo development blocked her view. So now she’s a corporate sellout, but is she really any worse off than her brother, who’s stayed true to his identity as a musician but can barely afford the health care for his terminally ill daughter? As Andrea’s sister-in-law puts it: “Is this part of being a grown-up? Taking what you can get?”

Getting into Andrea’s head and figuring out what has made her so washed-up and cynical is somewhat entertaining, but ultimately I felt that Attenberg’s strategy of contrasting the protagonist’s stalled story with that of her niece, who will never get to grow up, was pretty obvious and clumsy. Also, the way the individual chapters are like short stories, skipping around in time and reiterating some facts, means the book as a whole doesn’t feel cohesive. Plus there are a lot of gratuitous, explicit sex scenes. This reminded me most of Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple, another disappointment from a previously beloved author. Quick read, though.
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Reading Progress

October 3, 2016 – Shelved
October 3, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
February 26, 2017 – Finished Reading
February 27, 2017 – Shelved as: read-via-edelweiss

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters I didn't like her first book - at ALL- gave it 1 star - rare for me - so I'm thinking even with lots of high ratings- again with this 2nd book - I have a hunch this author is just not for me


Rebecca I believe she has 6 books out now. I enjoyed Saint Mazie, and particularly loved The Middlesteins. Which of hers did you read?


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