Crystal Durnan's Reviews > Little Stalker

Little Stalker by Jennifer Belle
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's review
Dec 03, 2009

really liked it

I've been following Jennifer Belle since I read her first book, Going Down and I definitely consider myself a fan. Not that the stories she builds around her characters are themselves particularly epic, but she has an incredibly vivid stream-of-conscious writing style that I find irresistable. Everything just flows together so naturally yet many of her passages are still completely surprising in their humor or cynicism. The characters are not your typical twenty something women, but they are also not encumbered with a contrived disability or special talent or physical issue so many authors use to highlight their characters' sense of alienation. They are just regular, slightly bitter and neurotic twenty-something women living in New York city but they are rich and deep and not always sympathetic. My biggest complaint about them is that they often say things that are the opposite of what they're thinking for no particular reason other than general neurosis, though this is where a lot of the surprising interactions come from. I wouldn't consider her work "chick lit" at all, which it has been labelled often which I think is a shame.

This book seems to be the most openly autobiographical of the three, and the character painted in the most forgiving light. It stars a 33 year old writer who has published one book which was successful and everyone around her wants her to write another one. At the same time she has an obsession with a New York jewish filmmaker who seems to me to be based entirely on Woody Allen, down to the signature glasses, and with her attempts to get herself close to him. I generally really hate the old cliche of writers also having their protagonists be writers (thanks for that Stephen King) even though I myself am a proponent of the "Write What You Know" mantra. But with this particular book it doesn't bother me too much. Jennifer's first two books had plots which revolved around the character's profession which was something other than writing, so at least it's not an old fallback of hers.
This book, like her first two, have such a magnificent flow that you find yourself tearing through them very quickly and really enjoying though sometimes being a little perplexed at the little New York City world she creates and in this novel, whenever she meets someone who knows her book they all say basically "I love your book! I read it in two days!", to which she responds, "Thanks. It took me five years to write." I'm certain this comes from her real life experiences. However it is not because these books are written at a low or easy reading level, it is simply because of her style and pacing which pulls you through it with almost no hiccups or speedbumbs, and with twists that you rarely see coming but which don't disrupt the momentum at all.

This book, like the first two, were not perfect but were a joy to read.

I've read on Jennifers blog that she currently has no desire to write anything since she has recently gotten married and had a child. But I really hope she does.
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