Rosenfeld's protagonist, Phoebe Fine, is a sharp-tongued brainiac with rotten self-esteem. Born and raised in suburban New Jersey, she's the daughter of professional classical musicians, hippie theater types who embarrass their kids; they are always going into geeky raptures on the subject of chamber music or obscure lost arts. Phoebe wishes she could be considered "normal." She wishes she had blond hair and perfect teeth, but instead she's painfully ordinary: in the chapter "Jason Barry Gold, or 'The Varsity Lacrosse Stud'" Rosenfeld riffs expertly on the subject of Phoebe's ordinariness:
That's how ugly she was--ugly by virtue of the fact that she was unmemorable, a slab of alabaster awaiting a sculptor who never arrived, a "nothing burger" if there ever was one. Take her nose: it just kind of ended, and her forehead just kind of began--kind of like the weeks in a year and the years in a life. It was the same with her waist and her hips, and her neck and her shoulders. There was nothing definitive about her. She was just this filet of human flesh--just this blah girl running laps behind the gym until she thought her legs would snap, her heart explode.The search for true love keeps Phoebe in a state of high anxiety. It's a wonder she ever gets any sleep. When the right guy gives her the right kind of attention, she's queen for a day. Alone, without the prospect of a lover, she starves herself, drinks too much, occasionally stares into the mystery of her past. What did she see in those men? What did they see in her? At once erotic and awkward, lightweight and troubling, Rosenfeld's debut possesses a powerful charm. Readers who grew up in the '70s and '80s will recognize the landmarks: Farah Fawcett posters, boring social studies classes explaining glasnost. Rosenfeld's a former New York Post nightlife columnist, and What She Saw... has the quick pace, twittering freshness, and panicked hipness of a club-hopper. Deadpan and stylish, it's a novel whose author is out to prove herself. And prove herself she does, in spades. --Emily White --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I really enjoyed it and laughed out loud at times.
Not only are the boyfriends in this book completely pathetic, but Phoebe's few, temporary friends turn out to be cruel and selfish as well.
Phoebe's character development didn't seem to go very far and I found it very difficult to relate and like her.
Loved this book. I felt like I really connected with the characters and author. Great read for someone in their mid 20's.Published 16 days ago by Stephanie
I rather liked the first two-thirds or so of this. Once she graduated from college and her life became messier it sort of wandered off.Published 4 months ago by P. Bolton
I waited 285 pages for this girl to have some kind of revaluation, and it ended up being 285 pages of a woman lowering her standards to please men. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Laura Carroll
Reminded me a LOT of Chelsea Handler's "My Horizontal Life", without the funny. I read the first couple of chapters and kept hoping that the book would get better, but it... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Cara N. Snyder
This book is super boring. I never found myself engaging with the characters at all. I really wouldn't recommend it.Published 17 months ago by Megan
The book was alright. I appreciated the weird men she attracted but it just ended suddenly. Her friends were a little funnier than she was.Published 18 months ago by Megan Nicole
I liked Lucinda Rosenfeld's writing, but I found the female protagonist very frustrating. Phoebe's character development didn't seem to go very far and I found it very difficult to... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book was very well written. A very real perspective of life and the journeys through love and lust. A novel that everyone can relate to at some point or another. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Lakellh
I really enjoyed this book. It was unlike any that I've ever read. It starts when the main character is in elementary school and follows her through every relationship. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Annie Garea