These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen

Being a fan of Sex and the city and Girls and all of those New York city based stories of friends or groups of women co-existing, i thought this could be a slam dunk of a book.  Ironically it was my husband that must have seen something on TV about this title and suggested that i pick up These Girls.

he didn’t steer me wrong, but i have to say that i feel a little like i was left high and dry by this story.  We’re introduced to 2 of the main characters who work together and live together, but who really aren’t close close friends.  they are roommates more so out of convenience than anything else, but that’s not such a bad thing as we’ll find as we read the story.

Cate – she has recently been promoted to Features Editor of Gloss Magazine which is a small coup for her, especially since she keeps wondering if it was because her boss Nigel had a thing for her or if it was on merit.  I like to think that it was on her merit, and i’ll therefore think of Nigel as a tool.  We’re never really given insight into Cate’s upbringing except to know that she doesn’t necessarily struggle for much which is a feat in itself living in NY and making ends meet, but i guess that’s what’s to be expected because no one outside of NYC really wants to read about how god awful it can be on a measly salary.  We do get a back-story on her though – about her college years, falling for her teacher which of course is a big NO NO – and then having that change her for life, and make her re-think everything.  What she should realize is that everyone has a skeleton in their closet and she makes a big deal of hers.  like at her trip to DC – she seems really freaked that the couple that she’s talking to went to Ohio State, but it’s a big school – it’s not likely that they would know about the ‘scandal’ or even have been there at the same time.

Renee – she’s a beauty writer who’s up for the newly opened role of beauty editor.  What we know of Renee though is that she perhaps isn’t the skinniest girl out there and feels like she needs to be in order to fit into the role that she’s trying to get.  this sends her down a path that’s just not good – and teaches a little bit of a good lesson had our author here really taken that into account.  She talks about Renee’s blossoming Eating Disorder, yet she doesn’t talk at all about the long term affects that will come of it or even how she copes with coming out of it on the other side.  that’s more important to me than the 2 second wrap up that we get on her story line.  Besides that – we know that Renee makes like no money which is kind of normal for NYC so i appreciated that, but we find that her father had an affair right after getting married, and now Renee has a 1/2 sister that she’s been contacted by and ultimately doesn’t meet.  again – another loose end i think.

Abby – so here’s the girl that i really liked in the story and the one that i was rooting for all along the way.  she’s a nanny for a family living in Maryland and she adores the little girl that she cares for.  as cliche as it gets, she then falls for the husband who is more of a parent to the child than the mother is, especially since the mother doesn’t seem to spend any time with the child – and therefore a bond is formed.  what i don’t get though is that there are so many hints that the wife joanna is having an affair with the politician that she works for yet nothing comes of it.  it’s like it’s forgotten.  why is that?  anyway, we learn through the story that Abby is the one in her family that gets ‘no love’ and actually that her parents are rather cold to her.  her brother Trey is this hot journalist that is entwined into the story – dating renee a couple times, helping out Cate, and well – is actually a great guy.  there was also another brother Stevie who died from a ‘mysterious illness’ when he was 2.  mind you i thought SIDS at first and then realized that there was more to it when we got all that imagery of Abby’s panic attacks trying to put Bella into the car.  we find out that when Abby was 4, she accidentally cause a car accident that killed her brother leading to the reason why her parents weren’t nearly warm enough to her.

anyway, along with all that character development and the story lines for each, the story kept me reading and when i finished it i wondered if i missed something, fell asleep, the book ran out of pages or what….cause there was ZERO RESOLUTION for anything.

1) we know that Cate’s first issue of the mag was a success because Trey writes a great story and Renee’s eating disorder story gets into it as a feature and people love it

2) renee gets a promotion – but is it for her?

3) abby is confronted by Joanna for having the affair with Bob the husband, but no one really gets all that mad

so this leaves me with a few questions

1) Cate and Trey – do they ever get together?  there is chemistry for sure, and we know that Trey won’t just give up but will Cate be willing to work on that aspect of her friendship with Abby and Renee to have them all comfortable with her dating Trey?

2) Renee – we know that part of the promotion process, there was a social media component.  what ever happens with that?  what happens with Diane one of the other girls up for the job who some how managed to get invites everywhere and had all this great paid media supporting her social media effort?

3) Renee again – how does she come out of her Eating Disorder?  she took so many pills for so long – did she gain the weight back? did she have health issues? is she going to counseling?  what’s going on there

4) we know that Abby is going back to school and feels better about things – but really – is her family situation better?  we just don’t know.

so for the story line – i give it like a 7 out of 10 – but i really feel short changed since there was no real ending to the book.  just a feeling that it ran out of steam and the author really just wanted to be done with it.  there’s so much that could go into a sequel but i don’t feel like this was the intention.  oh well.  enjoyable for sure – but not a can’t live without type of book.