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Good Girls Gone Bad: A Novel Paperback – October 21, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Avon A (October 21, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060936916
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060936914
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,350,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Medoff's debut novel, the well-received Hunger Point, leavened the serious topic of eating disorders with a healthy dose of wry humor. In her sophomore effort Medoff takes aim at therapy, female bonding, low self-esteem and revenge with mixed results. Janey Fabre joins group therapy when she admits to herself that obsessing about (and semi-stalking) a man who dated and dumped her might not be entirely healthy. An actuary, the 30-something Janey also spends her time composing highly methodical lists of ways to commit suicide, and despairs of ever being married or having children. The six other women in the group represent a grab-bag of recognizable psychological profiles: bossy Laura sleeps around, overweight Valentine can't stop eating, nervous Natasha fears germs, Ivy is a plastic surgery junkie, Bethany still lives with her mother, and Suzanna is more connected to her dog than to other people. What they all have in common is low self-esteem as well as a seemingly pathological distrust of men, even though they complain incessantly about not meeting Mr. Right. Rather formulaically, Medoff tracks the members of the "pussy posse" as they learn to stand up for themselves. The plot takes an unexpected twist, however, when a plan to get revenge on Janey's ex turns violent, but all is cozily resolved in the end. The metaphorical use of actuarial probability (a la John Lanchester's Mr. Phillips) is clever, but the psychological insights, such as they are ("maybe it's never been them... maybe it's us") are less than revelatory. Still, readers in thrall to the current crop of light gal-power lit may find some kick to the antics on display here.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Janey Fabre, a thirtysomething actuary, can't get over her ex-boyfriend, Tobias Teague, who had a fiancee the whole time they were dating. Unable to deal with her obsession alone, Janey joins a therapy group and finds six other equally neurotic women. Eventually, Janey learns to trust the group members and explore her feelings about her mom's death, her emotionally unavailable father, and Oberjerk Tobias. But when the women decide to assert themselves by getting revenge on the man who did Janey wrong, their plan goes miserably awry, and Janey is left feeling betrayed and wondering whether even these women whom she loves so dearly are truly her friends. But she comes out of it all a stronger woman. Chick lit fans will enjoy this well-written look at what happens when group therapy members bond a little too well. Medoff's second novel (after Hunger Point) is recommended for all collections of contemporary women's fiction.
Karen Core, Enoch Pratt Free Lib., Baltimore
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Jillian Medoff's bitterly funny, shocking new novel, I Couldn't Love You More, will be available from Grand Central Publishing in May, 2012. She is the acclaimed author of Hunger Point and Good Girls Gone Bad, both of which received surprisingly great reviews (surprising to her). A huge seller in the US, Hunger Point was the basis for the Lifetime movie starring Barbara Hershey and Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men"). Although Jillian is proud of Hunger Point, had anyone asked, she would not have selected such a bright pink (any pink, frankly) for the trade paperback edition. Her books have been translated into many different languages, including French, Spanish, Hebrew, Turkish, Hungarian, Japanese, Polish, and German, but her big wish is for an edition in Tagalog.

The eldest daughter of a traveling salesman, Jillian moved 17 times by age 17, ultimately ending up in Atlanta, where her new novel is set. She has a BA from Barnard and an MFA from NYU, and is grateful for having studied with such luminary writers as Mona Simpson, Jonathan Dee, Robert Coover, and Alice Walker. She also attended Master Classes with Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, and Grace Paley. Although each author continues to influence her work in powerful and diverse ways, she suspects few of them, if any, remember her. A former fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, VCCA and Fundacion Valparaiso in Spain, Jillian taught at NYU and the University of Georgia, but for only, like, five minutes.

You can read more about her books at www.jillianmedoff.com. She currently lives in New York with her family, and has no plans to move anytime soon.

Customer Reviews

The story is surprising and fun and a really enjoyable read.
Catherine Waters
The book is supposed to be humorous, but I didn't find it funny, although there were a few good lines.
Pink Amy
I loved this novel and I look forward to reading more books by this talented author.
CoffeeGurl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Good Girls Gone Bad is a wonderful, wholly original, delightfully rendered novel. It's characters, especially Janey, are all parts of ourselves--gone to an extreme that puts us in touch with our deepest fears and desires. Not only are we all Janey, but we are every woman in this book. And we are also Tobias, who surprisingly does not turn out to be just an enemy, but becomes a full character through the course of this novel. The sharp humor, dazzling prose, and gripping plot all underscore the psychological depths this book explores. It is engrossing, engaging and absolutely unique. I laughed, cried, and was truly affected by Good Girls Gone Bad.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By CoffeeGurl HALL OF FAME on January 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
What a clever read! Medoff leads the reader toward one direction and then the course of the story changes dramatically. Good Girls Gone Bad is a dark comedy that is to be relished from cover to cover!
Janey Fabre suspects that she isn't quite normal. After all, she's stalked her ex-boyfriend for two years and is tormented with a painful past. But when she joins a support group that consists of female patients, she is comforted with the fact that there are far more neurotic New York women out there. The women in the group are all middle-aged single women. There's Suzanna -- a.k.a., the Dream Weaver -- a woman in love with her dog; Laura, a one-night stand enthusiast; Bethany, a forty-year-old divorcee who now lives with her mother. And there are the neurotics-bordering-to-insanity -- like Ivy, a sexy southerner who thinks that getting plastic surgery is like brushing her teeth; Valentine, an attractive overweight woman who overeats when she's anxious; and Natasha, who is preoccupied with contamination and diseases. Each of one of these ladies supplies laugh-out-loud situations.
Despite the dark language in the novel, Good Girls Gone Bad is a tale of friendship and sisterhood. The women, namely the protagonist, face events that change their lives. I loved this novel and I look forward to reading more books by this talented author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kelly A. fuller on February 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Who would have thought that a book about group therapy could be so funny? This book is hilarious! I have caught myself laughing out loud many times, (and that can be really embarrassing while in public!) and I can't help thinking that this book would make a fantastic movie. It's that funny. The women in this book all have major physcological problems, but when they team up they don't seem so crazy. Together these women go on a revenge rampage getting even with anyone and everyone who ever wronged them.Makes me want to join group therapy myself!I loved it and will definitly look forward to more book by Jilliam Medoff.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By doctor_beth #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Good Girls Gone Bad starts off sounding like many of the other single women books out there--seven single women, aged 35 to 45, attend a therapy group together to work on improving their disasterous relationship histories. The main character, Janey, is obsessed with Tobias, a guy who slept with her while engaged to another woman; however, she carefully rationalizes her behavior to convince herself that she is not stalking him. As Janey and the other women in the group begin to bond, they dub themselves the "... posse" and vow to take revenge on Tobias, but as you might expect, their plan goes horribly awry. At this point, the book becomes more serious, as Janey questions her bond with her friends, delves into her childhood, and finally faces the truth about her mother. While the story seemed predictable early on, several unexpected revealations help set this book apart from its similar peers. A great read for someone who enjoys a fun story about women but with a little more depth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cybele Sunday on December 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Jillian Medoff's "Good Girls Gone Bad" is a page turner. I couldn't put it down ... On the surface, it might seem like a girl's (seven of them) search for Mr. Right, but beneath the surface it deals with serious themes--abandonment, suicide, the war of the sexes, female bonding, psychotherapy, and the power our parents have over us--with great humor and literary skill. Anybody who's had a friend, or a mother and a father, or been spurned by a lover should read this book. Medoff's women may obsess about the opposite sex, but they find empowerment with each other.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I found this book disjointed at best. I nearly gave up reading it during the first 60 pages because it felt as if the author was trying too hard to be witty, wry and sarcastic which left me feeling lukewarm. Also the writing is sluggish in parts. I willed myself to finish reading it more than the plot and storyline was so engaging that I couldn't put it down. I most certainly COULD put this book down. Many of the characters went from being fleshed-out, multi-dimension women to caricatures of what women who need therapy are like. And seven supporting characters is a little much; I had a difficult time keep track of who was who. Still and all, I found the actions of just about all the characters to NOT be in line with how they are originally portrayed. Could Bethany really keep the secret of what was going to happen to Tobias from Janey? Could Valentine? These ladies went from neurotic, self-obsessed crackpots to those able to carry off a highly complicated "crime" in no time. I had a hard time believing that.
The only thing that saves this book and why I gave it 3 stars is the journey Janey takes in admitting *finally* how her mother died and later, revisiting her roots. But for a person with depression, she was just a little too quick with a snappy comeback for my taste.
I wouldn't recommend anyone part with hard-earned cash for the hardcover but if you just MUST read it, I saw check it out at the library. I'm tempted to see if I can get my money back.
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