Lisa (Harmonybites)'s Reviews > The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing

The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
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's review
Jul 21, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, chick-lit, fiction, humor-and-comedy, literary-fiction, novels, short-stories, ultimate-reading-list, romance
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
Read from July 20 to 21, 2011 , read count: 1

The book's blurbs compare it to Bridget Jones' Diary, which was published the same year, and Girl's Guide is supposedly one of the progenitors of chicklit, but I don't see the resemblance to Bridget Jones, at all, other than it's from the point of view of a contemporary urban female dealing with love and career--it's no where near as fun, and is at no point laugh-out-loud funny as that other book.

It's not really a novel, but rather seven linked short stories. They're not even consistent in style--some are past tense, some present tense, and though almost all are first person, one is second person. ("You Can Be Anyone"--very short, and one of my least favorite stories in the book.) Almost all revolved around Jane Rosenal, Jersey Girl and New York City career girl. (Although one story, "The Best Possible Light," Jane only gets one short mention, and it makes me wonder if the line was thrown in the story to put it in the book.)

We meet Jane at fourteen, in the first story, "Advanced Beginners." She's sassy and smart, and that might have made a solid enough chapter in a more strongly structured novel following her, but standing alone, neither that story nor the next about her first boyfriend, "The Floating House" are standouts. The stories "My Old Man" and "The Worst Thing a Suburban Girl Could Imagine" are primarily about Jane's affair with an alcoholic 28 years older than her--and the stories run pretty much how you'd expect.

What saves this book from a two star rating (besides it being well-written and paced enough to make this so quick a read I wasn't really tempted to put it down) was the last story. "The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing." This was the one story fairly close to Bridget Jones Diary in spirit, and was smile-worthy, as it takes on those books like The Rules that tell women they have to be manipulative and repress all personality to attract a man. I don't know I'd call even that story outstanding, but it was funny and sweeter than the rest.

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Reading Progress

07/21/2011 page 49

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