No Good Girls

Jean Marie Pierson
2008, Chick Lit
Dorcester, $6.99, 291 pages, Amazon ASIN 0505527561

Grade: B
Sensuality: Subtle

In general, Iím not a big chick lit fan. I prefer straight romance, as I often find that chick lit books are just too fluffy or me (though many people would probably find that statement somewhat comical). However, No Good Girls was a very enjoyable book with a very sympathetic heroine.

Geri OíBrien, who narrates this story, works for a childrenís publishing company in order to pay the bills. Her real passion is writing screenplays, though she has not met with any success. She soon finds herself falling in love with her neighbor Todd. However, his mixed signals result in an embarrassing encounter when he rejects her and their fling ends.

Geri dates occasionally, but knows that her heart still belongs to Todd since she equates the breakup to her motherís abandonment when she was a child. Always there for her is her imaginary friend J.T., who showed up shortly after her mother left, and continues to counsel and talk to her. He's grown with her, from a small boy to the very attractive man he is now. He always wears a white suit and shows up when Geri whistles for him. However, everything changes when he begins popping up without a whistle in more unusual places, and heís even been mixing up his attire.

Geri is a very sympathetic character. I very much felt all her emotions Ė pain, sadness, excitement, confusion, and contentment. Pierson did a wonderful job making her real and relatable. I was on Geriís emotional roller coaster with her, and it made the read all that more engaging.

In the course of this book, Geriís friends go through similar heartbreak and discovery. Though they err on the side of the much used Sex and the City style archetypes, they, too, are good, likable characters.

This story, while it ended happily, has a subtly ambiguous ending that I probably would not have noticed had I not read the reading and discussion questions before finishing the book. I am not quite sure how I feel about it. On one hand, it is fairly obvious whom Geri ends up with; on the other, why canít Pierson just say so, if itís so clear? The happy ending that is alluded to in the end is also a bit too sudden to be believable, even while it was predicted throughout the book.

While romance is a heavy portion of the book, it does not drive the plot. Geri goes through a lot of growth in this book and she is a complex character. I really enjoyed coming along for her personal development Ė and her happily ever after.

-- Jane Granville

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