Jaclyn's Reviews > Ten Girls to Watch

Ten Girls to Watch by Charity Shumway
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Jul 02, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: contemporary, chick-lit, did-not-finish, net-galley, new-adult, arc

Dawn is a recent graduate and aspiring writer. She has moved to New York to pursue her career; however, her career isn't exactly following the direction she wants. Instead of writing for a trendy magazine she ends up dolling out lawn care advice online to help pay the bills. Dawn is also trying to get over her off/on again boyfriend who has just shacked up with a new girlfriend. Robert was always the boyfriend that Dawn could depend on; however, this new girlfriend, Lily, seems to be sticking. And it's Lily that ultimately helps Dawn get her new job at Charm magazine tracking down the winners of the competition "Ten Girls to Watch."

The “Ten Girls to Watch” is a yearly competition hosted by the magazine that identifies ten exceptional women and writes a profile on each of them. It is Dawn’s job to locate these past winners to find out what happened to them after winning the college competition.
In tracking down these winners and learning about the direction that these women took, Dawn learns about herself and the direction that she wants her life to take.

What I did like about the novel was the inspirational stories about the magazine winners. The messages that were presented to Dawn were actually very realistic and useful to someone in her position (ie. a recent grad struggling to find work). Many of the women had extraordinary careers (like being a scientist or fighter pilot) but what I liked about their advice was that is was very down to earth. The advice centred on their families and finding a balance between work and careers, it was not at all pretentious, as I would have expected advice from that caliber of characters. These character profiles were the strongest part of the novel.

What I didn't like about the novel was Dawn's relationship with her ex and the new relationship with Elliot. To be honest both characters were a little tiring and neither really treated Dawn well. I felt that it took a long time for Dawn to actually change throughout the novel and examine her position in both relationships and for her to move on. This dragged on so much that I did end up skimming the last 80 pages of the novel just because I was tired of the slow pacing of the novel.

Ultimately, I thought the book was okay. A little slow on the Dawn plot of self-discovery. That said, I think this one would be a good summer read and I think it would appeal to readers of Jennifer Weiner do the emphasis of the theme of self-discovery.

*A ARC of this novel was received for review purposes from NetGalley.
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