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These Girls: A Novel Paperback – April 10, 2012
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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 fun....an 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, EW.com
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Top Customer Reviews
I love how Sarah created three very different, realistic characters with a rich background and poignant flaws that made me fall in love with each of them.
The story was well paced and I loved diving into the lives of Abby, Cate, and Renee. And boy did I love Trey! :) I found the side story with Cate's mother so lonely and sad that I made a point to make sure to call my own mother today for no other reason than just to tell her I loved her. While I was able to slightly predict some of the things that were going to happen in this story, it didn't stop me from enjoying every second of it and that I think relies on Sarah's ability to weave a beautiful story from beginning to end.
I have read all of Sarah's books and each one is entirely different but what I love most is Sarah's ability to make each character become so well rounded and relevant. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good "chick lit"!
I absolutely cannot wait to read more of her books! Sarah has quickly become one of my favorite authors to read!
If you enjoy Jennifer Weiner and Emily Giffin (which I am a big fan of both), you will love Sarah's books. She gets to the heart of the matter through friends and family, especially in the gal pal relationship. Each of her characters has a past, a story which has not been told, and much baggage--- she sets the stage delivering tidbits to keep you hanging until the end.
Engaging, warming, and humorous and with realistic topics of student/teacher romantic relationship, nanny/boss, weight/diet pills, past unfaithfulness of parents, step siblings, and some secrets which haunt them and have been hidden away come to the surface, plus others. The fun setting in NYC, glamour magazines, and social media--which carries this fast paced novel to a satisfying ending. Would love to see a sequel and continuation of the character of Renee.
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.
Both Cate and Renee work for Gloss, a fashion magazine in New York and are roommates. Cate just landed a promotion as a Chief Features Editor while Renee is still in a low level job but has her eye on a promotion to Beauty Editor. Abby, the third in their circle comes to the story a little later on but with issues of her own.
Cate is young and most in the office believe she's slept her way to the top. Truthfully even she's surprised she landed the job but she's good at what she does and she's determined to prove it. She is struggling with her feelings towards her mother as well. Her father left her mother for another woman and without her kids at home, Cate's mom has lost her way. While Cate loves her mom it's difficult to find a balance when her mom wants more of her time than she can give. Yet as Cate thinks back on the past she remembers just how much her mom has done for her and her brother...
Renee was an easy woman to like. She's one of those girls that's warm and friendly and everyone loves her and gravitates towards her. She has one big problem though; she has huge issues with her weight. The thing is Renee isn't really big - she's a size 12 and looks good but in the beauty industry she's too big and when the girls in the running for the promotion have to set up blogs to promote themselves, the issue of her weight really hits home for her. Will Renee take things to the extreme in order to lose weight?
Abby is really the woman who brings the whole group closer together. When Abby's job as a nanny falls through for personal reasons she's devastated. She runs to New York, to her brother Trey who just happens to work with both Cate and Renee. Renee for one has a huge crush on him and Cate needs him for a story. When the girls need a roommate it works out great for all of them. In trying to help Abby, both Renee and Cate's friendship becomes stronger and soon the women are inseparable.
What I really loved about this novel is how real it was. You didn't open it to find these perfect women who worked for a fashion magazine. Cate didn't even like to wear makeup and Renee didn't fit size wise into the pre-conceived notion of what a woman who works there should look like. These were all real women with real issues with themselves and their families. Did I have a favorite? No I really don't think so - each woman brought something different to the story that I could relate to and I found myself hoping for the best for all of them. What I loved the most is that all three of them put their friendship first. I loved this book and can't wait to read more of Sarah's work!