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Ten Girls to Watch: A Novel Paperback – July 31, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; Original edition (July 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451673418
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451673418
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,228,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A winning debut featuring the kind of witty, appealing good girl that captures readers' hearts....a sort of modern-day Mary Tyler Moore, Dawn West...is a young woman of substance and her trials are of more consequence than the search for the perfect Little Black Dress." —Kirkus

"A smoothly paced plot, peppered with robust vignettes from Charm’s success stories and quirky details from Dawn’s life, ensures a fast, funny, and moving read.” —Publishers Weekly

"Debut author Shumway offers a fresh and modern take on chick lit. Instead of showcasing the melodramatic and helpless, she highlights the power and will of women. There is an inspirational undercurrent without being sappy. Dawn makes a great everywoman, and her story will appeal to girls of all ages." —Library Journal

“Upbeat and engrossing, this chick-lit novel gratifyingly focuses more on Dawn’s burgeoning career than on which man she’ll end up with.” —Booklist

“Delightful…a debut that proves to be nothing short of charming. An intriguing plot, brilliant characters, and beautiful prose combine to create a novel that readers will adore.” —Deseret News

"Charming in its honesty and humor, this novel captures that time right after college, when we all feel overwhelmed and adrift. Shumway expertly guides us through a young woman's love life, her family, friends, and career as she proves that perfect endings aren't the only happy ones."
—Lauren Weisberger, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada

Ten Girls to Watch is an insightful, funny take on post grad tribulations that thoughtfully mines the wisdom of women.”
Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, #1 New York Times bestselling authors of The Nanny Diaries

"The heroine of Charity Shumway's lively, smart and funny debut is as inspiring as the female luminaries it is her job to interview. What I loved about this coming-of-age story was its realistic and confirming celebration of feminine resilience, brilliance and generosity. Not your stereotypical single gal novel, Shumway's book is a passion-stirring breath of fresh air."
—Helen Schulman, New York Times bestselling author of This Beautiful Life

"Once you turn the first page, you won't be able to tear yourself away from Ten Girls to Watch. This is a thoroughly charming, sassy, highly satisfying debut from a writer with a rare gift: She sounds like your best friend, telling a story you don't ever want to end. I adored this book."
Sarah Pekkanen, author of These Girls

"A sparkling novel about how we find our friends, our mentors, and our way in the world."
—Jean Hanff Korelitz, author of Admission and a 1983 Glamour Top Ten College Women

"Ten Girls to Watch will inspire you to follow your heart and believe in your own dreams, no matter how many challenges or obstacles the universe throws your way. It's a heartwarming story about a gathering of extraordinary women who offer wisdom, warmth and humanity, as well as shoulders broad enough for all of us to stand upon. I can't wait to give this book to my sisters and best girlfriends."
—Nicolle Wallace, New York Times bestselling author of Eighteen Acres

About the Author

Charity Shumway received an MFA in Creative Writing from Oregon State University and a BA in English from Harvard University. Her writing has appeared in Glamour, where she reported on the fiftieth anniversary of the magazine’s “Top Ten College Women” contest, Ladies Home Journal, and Fitness, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 36 customer reviews
I really felt like I connected with Dawn.
jmn89
I really liked this book - it pulls you in from the beginning and I read it "from cover to cover" on my Kindle in just two days.
Scill
Highly recommend for a quick and fun read that you won't feel embarrassed on behalf of all women for having read.
EF

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By PattyLouise VINE VOICE on August 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Ten Girls To Watch
By
Charity Shumway

My "in a nutshell" summary...

This book is about Dawn...her relationships, her job quests, her frustrations, her hopes, her wondrous humor, and the way she interviews some fabulous women.

My thoughts after reading this book...

Dawn has had pretty much the absence of a career after college...she temps. She lives in an absolutely crummy apartment in Brooklyn. She writes an advice column on lawn care to earn extra money. She takes part in a sleep study to earn extra money. Her coffee table is a cardboard box. She can't let go of her relationship with Robert...ex boyfriend and pretzel heir. In a roundabout way her ex boyfriend's fiancé is responsible for connecting Dawn with a freelance job for a magazine called Charm. She is temporarily employed. Charm magazine is known for its yearly publication of an issue called...Ten Girls To Watch. Dawn is tasked with contacting and writing about women who were voted the "Ten Girls To Watch" over the last fifty years.

What I loved most about this book...

I truly loved Dawn's quirky character. I loved her humor, her struggles, her insecurities. I loved the way the story is told...sort of in little vignettes and illustrations that go along with the women she is interviewing. There is something special about Dawn that allows the women being interviewed to truly open their hearts to her. Some chapters begin with names and quotes from some of the women and other chapters are about Dawn...her life, her family, her relationships. Another absolutely lovely part of this book was learning about the lives of these women. They are teachers, scholars, scientists, judges, writers, entertainers, and more.

What I did not love...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By H. Thomas on July 31, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is about growing up - as a new adult - and it's also an incredible exploration and celebration of what it's meant to be a successful woman over the last 50 years. What's not to love?!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Scill on August 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really liked this book - it pulls you in from the beginning and I read it "from cover to cover" on my Kindle in just two days. I was super absorbed by Dawn's journey (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and the stories of the TGTW women she profiles (Rachel Link and Helen Hensley were particularly fun to read about). I was inspired by all the worldly advice that runs throughout the book on how to live life to its fullest, how to be a strong woman, and how to have perspective and self-love. Dawn really comes alive through Shumway's unique and impressive style of writing - I loved Dawn's humor, strength, vulnerabilities, and hope. A super strong debut, highly recommended - I'm looking forward to more writing from Shumway.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Literary Marie on August 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Like most recent graduates, Dawn West is trying to find her way in the real world. Her roommate in a New York City apartment views paying rent as optional. Her ex-boyfriend isn't really staying an ex; they can't stop seeing each other. Her writing career is the extent of writing a lawn care advice column, until she lands a freelance job tracking down the past winners of Charm magazine's "Ten Girls to Watch" contest and interviewing hundreds of fascinating role models.

Dawn gets to interview amazing women who were once outstanding college students, now mayors, opera singers, writers and other impressive careers. Their stories are inspiring to both the reader and to leading character, Dawn. She takes their experiences to heart and analyzes her own life, creating her own success story.

Ten Girls to Watch is Charity Shumway's debut novel. I like her writing style and the book's format. Each chapter begins with a photo and profile of a past winner. Dawn is a well-developed character. Readers see her growth and personal progress throughout the novel. There are also tidbits of life advice sprinkled through the narrative. Nicely done. This is one author to watch.

Literary Marie of Precision Reviews
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Z. Vila on August 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I saw the blurb for this novel a few months ago in Glamour magazin, pre-ordered it, and was pleasantly surprised when it was delivered (by then I'd forgotten). SO glad I heard about it! I absolutely loved this novel and look forward to more from the author. It's great to remember what it felt like to be in my early 20s, but more than that, hearing all the stories of the "ten girls" through the decades was thought-provoking. From the blurb, I thought it was a great premise, but after reading it - it was SO well-executed. It was enjoyable and enthralling and still left you with that warm, fuzzy feeling. I hope it does as well as it deserves, partly because I would love to read more from Charity Shumway.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thea Laveau on December 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I started this book with trepidation because it seemed to be the chick lit trifecta - young woman in NYC, in publishing and looking for a relationship - but then it morphed into a thoughtful, intelligent book that gave a much more realistic picture of what's it's like for most women to be 23 and starting out in life.

It's lovely, I'll be watching for more by this author
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Heather Craw on December 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Jobless, loveless, penniless, friendless, listless and very briefly homeless, small town girl and recent college graduate Dawn West is in a sea of troubles trying to make it in New York City. She eventually draws inspiration and a blessed paycheck from tracking down a few hundred past winners of Charm magazine's Ten Girls to Watch competition. The insights and mini-biographies of the extraordinary women she contacts really set this novel apart and elevate it beyond mere entertainment. These based-on-a-true-story details from the author's research of Glamour magazine's contest winners are often touching and always thought provoking. The novel is definitely entertaining, however. In addition to the big laughs that I had to recount to my husband, the narrative is bestrewn with vivid, fresh metaphors (one of the author's real strengths) and witty little treats for the reader like a clever coin imagery motif and puns galore. A law firm called Craven & Swinton? Tell me how you really feel. I was rooting for this book to be good because I know, admire and like the author, so I was delighted at just how much fun I had reading it.

Mini-spoiler alert!

I will say that I was hoping for more of a payoff in the final act. I wasn't holding my breath for a Dickensian ending in which the villains are publicly shamed and Dawn comes into a conveniently unclaimed fortune; however, since the author certainly spared her heroine no humiliation or calamity--even during her moment of triumph--I was surprised that she let her evil-doers off the hook without more of a comeuppance. Without that element, it feels like the moral of the story is Nice Girls Finish Fourth, respectable but out of the medals.
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