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These Girls: A Novel Paperback – April 10, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Pekkanen’s sunny, original third novel focuses on the intersecting lives of three young women living together in New York City. Cate and Renee work at a glossy women’s magazine, while Abby moved in with the pair after a series of events forced her to leave her idyllic job as a nanny. Abby’s older brother, Trey, has been on a few dates with Renee but seems to have turned his attention to Cate in recent weeks. Without being overly fluffy or cattily condescending, These Girls is a fun and engaging romp through the inner monologues of three very different women sharing the same space. Facing romantic problems, workplace struggles, family revelations, and food issues, the three girls serve as equally sympathetic heroines. Pekkanen’s authorial voice is sweetly snappy, and she does a commendable job of giving each character equal narrator’s time. The plot is character-driven, and the book ends satisfactorily without tying up every loose end. Fans of Sophie Kinsella and Jennifer Close will enjoy this refreshingly introspective, sharply realistic, and tenderly humorous novel by the author of Skipping a Beat (2011). --Stephanie Turza


"Sarah Pekkanen's latest celebrates the healing power of female friendship for three very different young women sharing a New York City apartment. At turns bittersweet, laugh-out-loud funny, and painfully real, you'll wish you could move in with these girls." —Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Lone Wolf and Sing You Home

“The honesty and complexity that Sarah Pekkanen brings to her three main characters in These Girls is impressive and rare. You can't help but root for each one of them as they struggle to strike that elusive balance between professional success and personal happiness. The bonds among Pekkamen's female heroines will have you reaching for the phone to hold your own best girlfriends a little closer.” –Nicolle Wallace, New York Times bestselling author of Eighteen Acres

"In These Girls, Sarah Pekkanen again proves her innate understanding of women's relationships. With a style that's both wry and heartfelt, readers will absolutely recognize themselves and their friendships on the pages. These Girls is lively and engaging and ultimately satisfying, so get comfortable because you won't be able to put it down!" –Jen Lancaster, author of Bitter Is the New Black

"A fun and engaging romp...Pekkanen's authorial voice is sweetly snappy, the plot is character-driven, and the book ends satisfactorily without tying up every loose end. Fans of Sophie Kinsella and Jennifer Close will enjoy this refreshingly introspective, sharply realistic, and tenderly humorous novel." —Booklist

"Pekkanen’s characters are sympathetic and familiar, and readers are likely to identify with aspects of each protagonist. Fans of Jennifer Weiner, Sarah Dessen, Liza Palmer, and Emily Giffin will strongly appreciate this smart novel by a rising star in women’s fiction." —Library Journal

"Good entertaining take on modern love and life in the Big Apple." —Kirkus

"Chick lit with grit." —Ladies Home Journal

"The power of friends and family carries this fast-paced novel through to a satisfying, although somewhat surprising conclusion. If you like chick lit with substance, Pekkanen delivers another winner." —Philly Examiner

“Sarah Pekkanen deftly weaves together the lives of roommates and friends…each battling demons, professional and otherwise, and within a few pages you’ll find yourself emotionally invested in all of them. The surprisingly good news is that this author knows that ‘happily ever after’ doesn’t necessarily involve a cute guy.” —Entertainment Weekly

"A pleasure." —People

“Pekkanen offers a conversational writing style and a knack for making readers care about her characters… a refreshing look at the importance of female friendship.” —Washington Post

"I loved Sarah Pekkanen’s These Girls. Just when you think the single-girls-trying-to-make-it-in-media-in-NYC trope was totally played out, along comes a fresh, charming, moving take on what it’s like to be in your twenties, desperate for the guy to like you, for your secrets to stay secret, for this diet to be the one that works." —Jennifer Weiner,

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; Original edition (April 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451612540
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451612547
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #286,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally-bestselling author of the novels THINGS YOU WON'T SAY, CATCHING AIR, THE BEST OF US, THESE GIRLS, SKIPPING A BEAT and THE OPPOSITE OF ME. Please find her on Facebook and twitter @sarahpekkanen!

BIO: Sarah is the mother of three boys, which explains why she wrote part of her novel at Chuck E. Cheese. Seriously. Sarah penned her first book, Miscellaneous Tales and Poems, at the age of 10. When publishers failed to jump upon this literary masterpiece (hey, all the poems rhymed!) Sarah followed up by sending them a sternly-worded letter on Raggedy Ann stationery. Sarah still has that letter, and carries it to New York every time she has meetings with her publisher, as a reminder that dreams do come true. At least some dreams - Brad Pitt has yet to show up on her doorstep wearing nothing but a toolbelt and asking if she needs anything fixed. So maybe it's only G-rated dreams that come true. Please visit

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Colleen T. on April 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
In a place like New York City it's possible to create a new life, be whoever you want to be. The vibrant city allows you to show whatever face you want to the world and keep whatever secrets you have buried as deep down as you wish. This is the case for three roommates - Cate, Renee and Abby. Each is presenting only part of themselves to the world, at least at first. But as these girls begin to let a little of their guard down and trust in the others, they soon discover that their happiness will only be found when they become true to themselves.

As these three women get closer and begin to open up about their families, their lives and what they have really been through, the weight of their secrets begins to lift. Each will have to tackle their problems on their own, but having the others for support will make it that much easier to handle.

Sarah Pekkanen has quickly become one of my favorite authors to follow. Her characters are so real and raw that it's not hard to place yourself in their situations. I could especially relate to Renee who is vivacious, funny and friends with just about everyone. Even as she lifts everyone else up and tells them how beautiful and special they are she just cannot seem to see that same beauty in herself. All the women are funny, dynamic and perfectly flawed so you can find yourself laughing at them one minute and crying along with them the next.

As women's fiction goes she is top caliber, and These Girls does not disappoint. If you love authors like Jennifer Weiner and Sophie Kinsella, or just want a great read to keep you entertained, These Girls is for you.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Olivia Krenz on April 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not since I started reading Kristin Hannah have I found another author that can hold my interest for more than a few pages !! Then along comes Sarah Pekkanen with Opposite of Me, and Skipping a Beat . I pre ordered These Girls, hoping that it would be as satisfying, funny, and touching as Sarah's first two----and it was !!!!!! I couldn't relate to these women's jobs, but I saw myself and my friends in Cate, Renee, and Abby's caring and support for each other. Sarah is a masterful story teller with enough twists and turns to keep the story line flowing easily. I laughed and cried so you know I had some investment in these characters:):) Sarah is a great author, and fun person to interact with on FB and by email !!! Try These Girls --promise you won't be disappointed !!!!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Pauline on April 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was anxiously awaiting the release of this latest work by Sarah Pekkanen. I was not disappointed. This story is about the friendship of women. The struggles with career, image and love. I liked that it was told from the perspective of the 3 women, hearing the story of their own feelings and also how they saw each other. Each of them admired by the others for their special qualities but each feeling terribly inadequate. And making us realize that things are not always as they seem.
Well written, complex characters you will love.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Paris Maddy on June 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen

If you like Jennifer Weiner or Jodi Picoult novels, you'll probably enjoy These Girls. Cate is Features Editor and her roomie Renee is hoping to be the next beauty editor of Gloss, the high fashion NYC magazine they work at. Overweight Renee thinks her chances to net the position will be sweetened if she loses weight. Enter black market diet pills.

Hunky reporter Trey Watkins has a sister, Abby, who needs a place to live and Cate and Renee offer her a room---what better way to get closer to Trey.

Each of the three girls, while very different, have secrets and internal struggles that, like Renee's diet pills, they don't want discovered.

Akin to Weiner's stories, I found this book to be missing some essential hooks, characters (weak) and plot tension to keep me involved.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
3.5 stars

This is a story of three women (late twenties, early thirties) who are each struggling internally with personal issues; Renee is beautiful both inside and out but, as a size 12, she constantly compares herself to thinner women. When she competes for the position of beauty editor at a magazine, her body issues hit an all-time-low; Cate is holding back a secret that she feels threatens her new leadership position at the magazine; This secret also keeps her a bit emotionally unavailable for relationships both platonic and romantic; and Abby has run away from her life in the suburbs and is starting to see the influence her childhood has had on her present choices. Renee and Cate have been roommates in their small NYC apartment for a while but never true friends, but when Abby's brother Trey asks them to take in his sister, things change.

I have mixed feelings about this book. In truth, I had difficulty putting it down because I wanted to know what would happen to each of these girls (no pun intended). In that respect, it was a great book. At the same time, I was often not happy with the author's choices and, with the exception of Renee, did not sympathize with the girls as much as I think I was supposed to. Cate, in particular, got on my nerves more than once. Each time she made a bad choice, she would internally acknowledge that she might be doing the wrong thing but then she would justify it and do it anyway. I thought she was a bit selfish, although she redeemed herself somewhat at the end. And while I understood what provoked Abby to do what she did, I still found her actions hard to swallow. Renee, on the other hand, was extremely likeable and sympathetic. She was, by far, my favorite character and the only one in whose story I felt truly vested.
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