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Certain Girls: A Novel Hardcover – April 8, 2008

3.5 out of 5 stars 293 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Cannie Shapiro Series

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All the Winters After by Seré Prince Halverson
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Following the story collection The Guy Not Taken, Weiner turns in a hilarious sequel to her 2001 bestselling first novel, Good in Bed, revisiting the memorable and feisty Candace Cannie Shapiro. Flashing forward 13 years, the novel follows Cannie as she navigates the adolescent rebellion of her about-to-be bat mitzvahed daughter, Joy, and juggles her writing career; her relationship with her physician husband, Peter Krushelevansky; her ongoing weight struggles; and the occasional impasse with Joy's biological father, Bruce Guberman. Joy, whose premature birth resulted in her wearing hearing aids, has her own amusing take on her mother's overinvolvement in her life as the novel, with some contrivance, alternates perspectives. As her bat mitzvah approaches, Joy tries to make contact with her long absent maternal grandfather and seeks more time with Bruce. In addition, unbeknownst to Joy, Peter has expressed a desire to have a baby with Cannie, which means looking for a surrogate mother. Throughout, Weiner offers her signature snappy observations: (good looks function as a get-out-of-everything-free card) and spot-on insights into human nature, with a few twists thrown in for good measure. She expends some energy getting readers up to speed on Good, but readers already involved with Cannie will enjoy this, despite Joy's equally strong voice. (Apr.)
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"Hilarious. Weiner offer her signature snappy observations and spot-on insights into human nature."-- Publishers Weekly<br/><br/>"Heartfelt and funny...A touching examination of both the comic and tragic moments that mark the mother-daughter relationship." --Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; 1 edition (April 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743294254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743294256
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (293 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #917,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twelve books, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, which was made into a major motion picture, and Who Do You Love. A graduate of Princeton University and contributor to the New York Times Opinion section, Jennifer lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was very excited to read "Certain Girls," the sequel to Jennifer Weiner's bestselling novel "Good in Bed," which I liked very much. Although most of the book was a lot of fun to read, the ending left me very disappointed.

"Certain Girls" takes place more than a decade after "Good in Bed." Cannie and Peter are now married and raising Cannie's daughter, Joy, who is now 13 years old. Cannie and Joy alternate chapters as narrators, and they have the kind of relationship that's pretty typical between teenage girls and their mothers. Joy thinks that her mom is an overprotective pain in the butt, and Cannie worries constantly about her daughter, especially when she notices changes in Joy's behavior. Meanwhile, Cannie struggles with the notion that her husband wants to have another baby with the help of a surrogate, and Joy eventally breaks down and reads the popular book her mother wrote 10 years ago. "Big Girls Don't Cry" is a sensationalized version of the events that led up to Joy's birth, and after reading it, Joy is so traumatized that she begins to question every aspect of her life. Eventually Joy embarks on a quest to discover the truth about her mother and herself.

At first I wasn't sure what to make of "Certain Girls." I enjoyed the first few chapters, but everything about the novel seemed so predictable and obvious. However, Weiner is a pretty fantastic storyteller, and despite the fact that I had most of the story figured out right away, I was completely drawn in by the book's characters and the emotions that they experienced, which are all unbelievably honest and relatable. As I continued reading, I thought that "Certain Girls" may end up being Weiner's best book to date...until I got to page 344!

The last 40 pages of this book SUCK!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jennifer Weiner first appeared on the fiction market with her novel, Good In Bed, a funny, smart look at modern life as viewed by a woman who's coping with stuff that the majority of women live with -- treacherous boyfriends, the constant battle with our weight, and a refreshing attitude that most of us could sympathize with.

Now with Certain Girls, more than a dozen years have passed since the events in Good In Bed. Cannie Shapiro is happily married to Dr. Peter K, and the very proud mother of her daughter, Joy. After her novel -- a thinly disguised memoir of her life -- turned into a runaway best-seller, Cannie has settled into a routine of being a mom and wife, and writing science fiction novels for teenagers under a pseudonym. Everything is going good, and that?s when the problems start.

Joy, the darling of her parents, is hovering on the brink of puberty, and worse still, her bat mitzvah the dreaded rite of passage in every Jewish girl's life when she makes that transition between being a child and an adult at the age of thirteen. But she has other things to worry about - such as not being one of the 'popular girls' such as Amber, the perfect girl at her school. She?s also at that stage where her parents embarrass her mightily, especially her mother. Toss in the fact that she also hates wearing her hearing aids, and her grades are slipping, and Joy is heading for trouble.

Especially when her Aunt Lucy - now calling herself Elle - comes to visit, intending to find Joy the perfect dress, Joy starts finding herself in a conflicting time. Now that suddenly she's being noticed by Amber and her crowd, she's losing her best friends, the twins Todd and Tamsin, and she is also reading her mother's best selling novel on the sly.
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5 Comments 41 of 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I believe the biggest problem with Certain Girls is that Weiner, who created Cannie with a terrific, believable voice, did not succeed in maintaining Cannie's voice and adding an equally believable voice in her daughter Joy. Many authors of late have written novels in a multiple voice point of view. Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible comes to mind as an extraordinary novel written in this fashion. But Cannie's voice is diluted and Joy's voice is, well, certainly not that of an almost-teen. Sure, Weiner has made her whiny, cruel, self-centered, and self-possessed, but the voice just isn't right. She uses language that doesn't ring true. I can't "see" Joy as a character and the Cannie that we loved in Good in Bed does not continue to develop and grow.
And I agree with the comments about the contrived plot "twist" at the end. By trying to convince her readers that Cannie is a strong woman capable of withstanding the worst that life can throw at her, she has succeeded only in highlighting the stereotype that we're all becoming rather tired of. Yeah, we're tough and we can "take it" [sigh]. But when we read a Jennifer Weiner book, we'd rather not.
1 Comment 34 of 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I loved, loved, loved "Good In Bed" and was so excited when I saw this one. "Good In Bed" was one of my top 5 favorite books but I'll never be able to reread it without the taint of this sequel. For those who will, despite the mediocre reviews, read this book I won't reveal the plot twist but suffice it to say that I felt exceeding emotionally manipulated. By the end of the novel I was angry and wished I'd never read the book. There were numerous points when I thought about putting it away and ending the painful attempt to try to get through it but I continued on... to my heartbreak. I should have heeded my intuition. Beyond the devastated twist late in the book... what happened to the strong, quirky and intelligent Cannie? Instead we're left with a fear driven and insecure woman who never found her way... very disappointing. Also, I recognize that all mother/ daughter relationships change during those awful teenage years but it seemed that more was being made of the situation than was warranted. All in all... VERY disappointing! Spend your money elsewhere!!
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