Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
Poorly executed idea: derivative and nonsensical.
on October 24, 2005
What a truly terrible book. I was intrigued by the gimmick -- the three main characters are named Meg, Jo and Amy after the sisters in the Louisa May Alcott novel of almost the same name -- and the premise -- upset by the discovery of their mother's affair they run away from their apparently perfect home to live with Meg at college. But the execution was abysmal: nothing at all happens, there's no real plot, no rising or falling action, so the whole way through I felt like the book was just getting started and any minute now the actual story would begin. There are absolutely no obstacles to overcome, so the girls live in a stagnant bubble, where money isn't a problem, where their parents don't object to their estrangement.
I did somewhat enjoy some of the more pop culturey aspects of the book, when the conversational tone felt realistic and everyday, but there were more than enough missteps in the same to balance it out. The interjections the whole way through by the 'author' (Jo) and her sisters at first seemed like they might provide an interesting kind of dialogue but instead they become unbearably tedious and pointless. And worst of all, the whole book echoes the major scenes of Alcott's novel nonsensically -- while the main characters are aware of the connection between their names and the other book they never notice how their lives are totally parodying it. I suppose some of the similarities, such as the names (Teddy, Ursula) could be explained by the fact that this is supposedly written by Jo herself, but that doesn't explain Amy's egg roll incident, the Aunt March figure complete with trip to Paris, etc, so the book ends up hovering in a weird limbo between self awareness and mimicry. Plus using the excuse that Jo is the author, not Weber, only ends up leading to the conclusion that Weber has intentionally written a bad book.
I also think this was probably the first book to ever make me groan aloud, during a discussion of dead dogs: "His name was Ezra. He came from the pound."