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  • Her
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on June 30, 2002
Why is it that books that have such a great plot (spying on your fiance's ex-fiancee -- that could be so funny) turn out to be so poorly written?
First, there's the main character, Elise, who is difficult to like even before she goes crazy and spends all of her time trying to prove Donald, her fiance, is cheating on her. Elise is extremely self-centered, very needy, is a witch to her friends, never treats Donald with an ounce of respect, and the whole time I read the book, I just wanted to KICK HER VERY HARD!
Then's there is Donald, who is too nice for words and has a weird habit of taking off his pants when he's upset, or excited, or whatever. Why that is supposed to be an endering trait is beyond me.
Elise's two best friends, Gayle and Fran, are even worse. Gayle lives by mooching off others and is an idiot. Fran owns a successful clothing store and gets her kicks off of making other people feel bad.
So by the time Her, the ex-fiancee, Adrienne, is written into the story, you're happy. At least she has some depth. At least all of her bad traits (manipulation, a huge ego, etc.) are supposed to be there. The reader is supposed to hate her, but you really end up hating everyone else.
The ending is chliched, and it happens too quickly, like suddenly the author realized how horrible the characters are and wanted nothing to do with them anymore.
The book is a fast read, thank goodness, but it isn't worth the two hours it will take you to finish it. Do something else instead -- take a walk, bake some cookies, or simply read a different book. You'll be glad you did.
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on August 11, 2002
I usually like Laura Zigman's work. I loved "Animal Husbandry" and really enjoyed "Dating Big Bird" however, "Her" was a disappointment. To begin with - it's difficult to enjoy a book when you can't stand - understand and relate with the main character. She was annoying, crazy and really unsympathetic. I kept thinking she would get better or the story would unfold and you would understand her motivation. But - it never did.
Elise (the main character) is engaged to nice and comfortable Donald. Her ordered and calm life is turned upside down when Donald's former fiance Adrianne comes back into the picture. I have to say, I enjoyed her character more than another. She at least gave you something interesting to think about. I found her entire relationship with Donald completely unbelievable. There is no way this woman would ever have been with him - but, I will leave that up to you.
There were moments that I was interested - but all in all - the negatives outweighed the positives. Try her other books - they are better.
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HALL OF FAMEon May 16, 2002
I think Laura Zigman is one of the most gifted chick lit writers of this era. I loved Animal Husbandry and Dating Big Bird because I thought she brought something new to a genre full of Bridget Jones-wannabes. I looked forward to reading Zigman's third novel, Her. In Zigman's case, third time isn't a charm.
It's not that I didn't like the book -- after all, I thought it full of Zigman's signature wit -- I was just annoyed with the heroine, Elise. Threatened by her fiancé�s friendship with his gorgeous ex-girlfriend, Elise embarks on a search to find whether or not there is something sinister about the ex-girlfriend's insistence on being part of Donald's life. Though the heroine addressed the fact that she'd become extremely paranoid, I still felt as though I wanted to strangle her at times. Well, I guess I shouldn't judge her too badly considering I have had some bouts of paranoia myself...
Her is still worth reading. Laura Zigman's fun approach to romantic comedy is money well spent.
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on July 17, 2002
When Donald sat down next to Elise on the commuter flight she knew right from the start that the other woman in his life would complicate things. When Donald mentioned Adrienne and explained that even though they had called off their wedding they were still friends Elise knew she should go back to reading her paper and forget she ever laid eyes on Donald. At the same time Donald seemed like the ideal guy. He had moved away from New York to escape the stress of the city just like she had and of course he was gorgeous.
A year goes by and Elise is planning her and Donald's wedding when the phone rings and it is Her. It turns out that Adrienne is moving to the same neighborhood where Elise and Donald live. Elise quickly realizes that having Her so close to Donald is more than she can handle. How will Elise cope with her fiancé's ex living practically around the corner?
I picked up this book after seeing it on a summer reading list and I was hoping it would be one that made me laugh. I wasn't laughing out loud as I read Her but I did chuckle a bit and it was entertaining. The eccentric characters Zigman writes about make this book worth reading.
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on October 20, 2004
I really disliked this book. The plot was okay - quite predictable, but that's to be expected with the genre. But the characters were just awful... I couldn't understand why the main character even *wanted* to stay with her wacko of a fiance. He was bizarre to the point of being unstable. Gayle was about the most annoying best friend ever. And Adrienne, the HER of the title, was far too perfect to be able to relate to, despite the fact that she was probably the most interesting character in the book.

Most everyone reviewing this book has talked about what a disappointment the book was in regard to either its characters or its inability to live up to what was a very interesting premise. But my biggest problem with the book was the grammar. The sentence structure in HER is monumentally poor. I found myself reading a sentence, then rearranging it and rewording it in my head. One sentence I came across had two commas, a colon, and a semi-colon - with only ten words in the sentence! And that was among the shortest non-dialogue sentences in the book; it seemed like there was one run-on sentence after another. Normally, I might not have had such a problem with this if I had been able to chalk it up to being the main character's "voice," but she was supposed to be an EDITOR! It didn't make any sense. After a short while, it became incredibly frustrating for me to keep reading.

Pass over HER. It's not worth your time.
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on June 4, 2002
I was a little let down by this book. I really liked Zigman's first book -and was hoping for the same with this one, but no such luck really. It started off funny - and at points I could relate all too well to the fears the can arise when an ex pops back into the picture for some reason. But then, it got a little bit too extreme. I almost could feel myself squirming in my seat, embarrased for Elise's character and what she was doing to prove Donald was cheating. I know girls that have taken things to this extreme, and it's exactly what I hope I NEVER am like. What started off innocently enough just took a really bad turn - if anything has told me how NOT to act in a relationship! Dont waste your time.
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on September 7, 2004
Every single character in this book is a moron, and the book is about how they all act moronically. Elise, the protagonist, is an emotional two-year-old who appears hardly ready for day care, much less marriage. Ditto Donald, her fiance, who gets down on all fours and pulls down his pants to express himself when he feels especially emotional (I kid you not. Why he is considered husband material, rather than a candidate for inpatient therapy, is the book's great mystery. But it is a boring mystery, never addressed). Elise's "friends"? One is obssessed with food, the other with clothes, and both are morons. The villain, the "Her" of the title? Beautiful, rich, accomplished. . .and a moron for being involved in any way with the aforementioned moronic losers.

I lost I.Q. points reading this -- the book is not only brainless itself, but actually sucks whatever smarts you have right out of your head, leaving you feeling like a chump for ever sticking with it. Please, I implore you. If you absolutely must read something, read the phone book, the cereal box, the back of the toothpaste tube, ANYTHING, before you waste your time reading this.
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on November 15, 2002
The main character in this novel, Elise, has a life full of love, a great job, and good friends. The trouble? She is very lacking in the area of self-confidence, especially when it comes to her fiance's ex-fiance, Adrienne. Since the very beginning of her relationship with Donald, she has been carting along his baggage of the ex. When she finds out that Adrienne is moving to Washington D.C. where she and Donald live, all hell breaks loose. Elise sikes herself up for the beautiful woman that she knows Adrienne is and unfortunately, she is not disappointed. Not only is Adrienne beautiful, likable and Yale-educated, but she is Elise's worst nightmare in the flesh. From the first time Elise meets Adrienne things begin to go downhill. Elise becomes so suspicious of her motives that they begin to take over her life. Soon she is obsessing with Adrienne and Donald's every move and life as she knew it before Adrienne ceases to exist.
This book is the story of a very insecure woman and what she puts herself through. Her fiance's baggage becomes the core of her existence and begins to ruin her life. The closer it gets to Elise's wedding day the more suspicious she gets until it all blows up.
This is the first book that I have read by Laura Zigman. She came highly recommended. However, I just didn't feel the book was right for me. Elise was a very depressing character and very pessimistic. At times, reading about her brought me down. I do however think that the novel was based upon a good idea and that some women would be able to relate to those feelings of insecurities and doubt. I have myself been reduced to spying in the past. The novel just wasn't as funny and I had anticipated. I look forward to reading the other books by Laura Zigman before I make a decision about this author.
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on May 14, 2002
They say there is an audience for almost every book, but you better check this one out carefully before you decide it's for you. I had high hopes for "Her" because I thoroughly enjoyed Laura Zigman's debut novel, "Animal Husbandry," but this story showed neither the promise nor the hilarity of its predecessor....
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on March 5, 2003
Elisa is in her thirties and about to be married to Donald...also in his thirties...the obsessive compulsive disorder of Elisa trying to catch Donald doing something with his ex-fiancée, Adrianne is to the extreme. This hunting, searching, stalking, driving herself insane starts at the beginning of the relationship before they are even engaged....I think this book just pushes it a little to far....and on top of it, the book was predictable! I knew exactly how it was going to end. There were no twist, no juicy parts that kept me wanting more. (I'm sad to say)
This is the first book I have read by Laura Zigman...and I think I may wait awhile before buying another one of her books. I'm not saying I wouldn't get another book by her, I'm just saying that this book was not at the top of my favorite reads...I have read that her other books are much I'll have to try "Dating the Bird" or "Animal Husbandry" in a few months...I'll be sure to post a review for you all!
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