5 out of 5 stars
First of all, a warning: DO NOT READ the plot description on the back cover!! Oh, so many spoilers!
Now, here comes my not-quite-a-review.
This book is really hard for me to review simply because I loved it so much. Emily Gould’s writing is so comforting to me. I feel understood reading about twenty-and-thirty-somethings trying to cope with life because (even though I don’t live in NYC or any city equally “cool”) the parallels to my life and feelings are creepily accurate. This includes the sometimes obnpxious characters and their ridiculous and almost non-existent problem-solving-skills.
Most of the things I wrote in my review about her essay collection And the Heart Says Whatever are also true for Gould’s debut novel. But she actually managed to straighten out the (albeit small) flaws I saw in her essays. The only thing that bothered me with the collection were the weird meanderings and the way she gets sidetracked so much that the end of the essay has nothing to do with the rest of it anymore. That might have been a clever literary digressional device but it did not feel like it. The good news is: in her novel she does not do this anymore. So there is nothing for me to be bothered by and everything for me to love! A book about female friendship, about the complexity of (changing) relationships and the problem of making your own choices and being true to yourself while trying to be the person your friend expects you to be.
I think this book will become one of my comfort reads. Something I will pick up again and again in order to feel understood or to gain perspective or simply to get this fuzzy feeling associated with true and utter book-love. Also it’s a bit like the novel version of HBO’s Girls. Just to be clear: that’s meant as a compliment.