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Good Girls Gone Bad: A Novel Paperback – October 21, 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Medoff's debut novel, the well-received Hunger Point, leavened the serious topic of eating disorders with a healthy dose of wry humor. In her sophomore effort Medoff takes aim at therapy, female bonding, low self-esteem and revenge with mixed results. Janey Fabre joins group therapy when she admits to herself that obsessing about (and semi-stalking) a man who dated and dumped her might not be entirely healthy. An actuary, the 30-something Janey also spends her time composing highly methodical lists of ways to commit suicide, and despairs of ever being married or having children. The six other women in the group represent a grab-bag of recognizable psychological profiles: bossy Laura sleeps around, overweight Valentine can't stop eating, nervous Natasha fears germs, Ivy is a plastic surgery junkie, Bethany still lives with her mother, and Suzanna is more connected to her dog than to other people. What they all have in common is low self-esteem as well as a seemingly pathological distrust of men, even though they complain incessantly about not meeting Mr. Right. Rather formulaically, Medoff tracks the members of the "pussy posse" as they learn to stand up for themselves. The plot takes an unexpected twist, however, when a plan to get revenge on Janey's ex turns violent, but all is cozily resolved in the end. The metaphorical use of actuarial probability (a la John Lanchester's Mr. Phillips) is clever, but the psychological insights, such as they are ("maybe it's never been them... maybe it's us") are less than revelatory. Still, readers in thrall to the current crop of light gal-power lit may find some kick to the antics on display here.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

It is easy to think of Medoff's romp as a made-for-TV movie for seven 30-to-40-ish female stars of middling magnitude. It boasts snappy one-liners, a well-dressed Pekingese, an outlandishly funny plot line during the first two-thirds of the book, and a hairpin turn toward tragedy as the heroine, Janey, is betrayed but finally confronts the truth. Proceeding on the assumption that Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, Medoff shamelessly pulls out all the stops, especially after Janey is joined by six revenge-minded members of her psychotherapy group to constitute a "pussy posse" bent on righting any wrong any of their number has endured. Their self-righteousness is so funny that readers well may forgive, if they don't accept, how the mood darkens after an ill-conceived attempt to humiliate a former beau goes dreadfully wrong. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Avon A (November 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060936916
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060936914
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,335,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Good Girls Gone Bad is a wonderful, wholly original, delightfully rendered novel. It's characters, especially Janey, are all parts of ourselves--gone to an extreme that puts us in touch with our deepest fears and desires. Not only are we all Janey, but we are every woman in this book. And we are also Tobias, who surprisingly does not turn out to be just an enemy, but becomes a full character through the course of this novel. The sharp humor, dazzling prose, and gripping plot all underscore the psychological depths this book explores. It is engrossing, engaging and absolutely unique. I laughed, cried, and was truly affected by Good Girls Gone Bad.
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Format: Hardcover
What a clever read! Medoff leads the reader toward one direction and then the course of the story changes dramatically. Good Girls Gone Bad is a dark comedy that is to be relished from cover to cover!
Janey Fabre suspects that she isn't quite normal. After all, she's stalked her ex-boyfriend for two years and is tormented with a painful past. But when she joins a support group that consists of female patients, she is comforted with the fact that there are far more neurotic New York women out there. The women in the group are all middle-aged single women. There's Suzanna -- a.k.a., the Dream Weaver -- a woman in love with her dog; Laura, a one-night stand enthusiast; Bethany, a forty-year-old divorcee who now lives with her mother. And there are the neurotics-bordering-to-insanity -- like Ivy, a sexy southerner who thinks that getting plastic surgery is like brushing her teeth; Valentine, an attractive overweight woman who overeats when she's anxious; and Natasha, who is preoccupied with contamination and diseases. Each of one of these ladies supplies laugh-out-loud situations.
Despite the dark language in the novel, Good Girls Gone Bad is a tale of friendship and sisterhood. The women, namely the protagonist, face events that change their lives. I loved this novel and I look forward to reading more books by this talented author.
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Format: Hardcover
Who would have thought that a book about group therapy could be so funny? This book is hilarious! I have caught myself laughing out loud many times, (and that can be really embarrassing while in public!) and I can't help thinking that this book would make a fantastic movie. It's that funny. The women in this book all have major physcological problems, but when they team up they don't seem so crazy. Together these women go on a revenge rampage getting even with anyone and everyone who ever wronged them.Makes me want to join group therapy myself!I loved it and will definitly look forward to more book by Jilliam Medoff.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed Jillian Medoff's other novels, and this one looked interesting too.
Janey Fabre, the narrator, is thirty-something. She discovers her boyfriend has a fiancé, then begins group therapy with six other women.
The book is supposed to be humorous, but I didn't find it funny, although there were a few good lines.
I didn't like Janey, but did root for her for the first and third thirds of the book. Early on, you realize she is an unreliable narrator and she lies to almost everyone about both mundane and important details of her life.
I wasn't find of the group members likable either.
When the group sets out to avenge people who have harmed them (whether this is real or perceived), the story completely lost me.
The end salvaged the rest of the book, barely, but I don't recommend this book. Read Medoff's other novels. They are much better.
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Format: Hardcover
Good Girls Gone Bad starts off sounding like many of the other single women books out there--seven single women, aged 35 to 45, attend a therapy group together to work on improving their disasterous relationship histories. The main character, Janey, is obsessed with Tobias, a guy who slept with her while engaged to another woman; however, she carefully rationalizes her behavior to convince herself that she is not stalking him. As Janey and the other women in the group begin to bond, they dub themselves the "... posse" and vow to take revenge on Tobias, but as you might expect, their plan goes horribly awry. At this point, the book becomes more serious, as Janey questions her bond with her friends, delves into her childhood, and finally faces the truth about her mother. While the story seemed predictable early on, several unexpected revealations help set this book apart from its similar peers. A great read for someone who enjoys a fun story about women but with a little more depth.
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Format: Paperback
By a fluke I picked this book up at my library, and I am so glad that I did! A story of 7 women put together for group therapy and what happens when their neurosis all collide. Having run group therapy before, I can say that the author captures how personalities clash and therapists can lose control of the situation. But, the lengths these women go is hilarious! Who hasn't thought of revenge on someone who has done us wrong! I love the progression of the 7 women's relationship in the book, and the ending was a believable one. A treat to read and I am glad I came across it. I plan on looking for more by this author!
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Format: Hardcover
Jillian Medoff's "Good Girls Gone Bad" is a page turner. I couldn't put it down ... On the surface, it might seem like a girl's (seven of them) search for Mr. Right, but beneath the surface it deals with serious themes--abandonment, suicide, the war of the sexes, female bonding, psychotherapy, and the power our parents have over us--with great humor and literary skill. Anybody who's had a friend, or a mother and a father, or been spurned by a lover should read this book. Medoff's women may obsess about the opposite sex, but they find empowerment with each other.
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