Monday, June 15, 2009

"In Her Shoes"

By Jennifer Weiner
448 pages
Published July 2003 by Simon Schuster

I listened to this one on CD. Which was a good thing. Because if I had been reading it, I'm not sure if I would have finished it. On the other hand, I would not have had to listen to it--the reader drove me crazy!

This is the story of Rose, the responsible, older sister and Maggie, the pretty but trouble making kid sister. Rose is the smart one; Maggie is not. When they are young, their mentally unstable mother dies in a car non-accident. Her father cuts the girls off from their grandparents and moves them to another state. Years later we are dropped into their lives when Rose receives a call to come pick up her very inebriated sister from a class reunion, causing her to leave her boss/boyfriend naked in her bed. But things get even worse--Maggie has come to stay and things get ugly fast. Meanwhile, Weiner intersperses scenes from the life of the girls' grandmother who is now living in Florida. When Maggie betrays Rose and is kicked out, she eventually lands on the campus of Princeton. But eventually she screws that up too and ends up moving in with Grandma.

This book is too, too long. I found the parts about the grandmother to be, frankly, boring. The whole episode at Princeton served only to teach Maggie that she really was smart but she seemed to forget that again almost as soon as she got to Grandma's. The ending was predictable, the relationship with the grandmother never really seemed to get worked out, and a wedding dress was all it took to make things right. I can't imagine how anyone ever read this and thought "this would make a great movie." Weiner has definitely written better books.

9 comments:

  1. I've seen the film version of this and found that lacking in any charm. I've also read another of Jennifer Weiner's books, the title of which escapes me. It was about a suburban mother who was solving a murder and was largly forgettable. Honestly, I fail to see the appeal in Jennifer Weiner chick lit but I know she's very popular.

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  2. Weiner has a lot of good books but just as many bad ones. (IMO) I guess I will scratch this one off my TBR shelf.

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  3. I saw the movie and actually really enjoyed it. I may have a small soft spot for chick flicks, but I thought that it was really sweet that the sisters found themselves and became closer while doing so. I especially liked Rose, the older "responsible" one. Idk if it's different in the book, but she just kind of throws off her old boring life and rediscovers herself and, in the process, finds love.
    Your review makes me a little wary to try reading the book. I was thinking of reading it eventually because I liked the movie so much. On the other hand, I have tried one of the author's books before and found the writing kind of elementary and boring. Idk, maybe I'll try it someday and can compare.

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  4. Rose does lighten up but not as much as in the movie. And it kind of bugged me that the guy Rose (who battled weight issues and was not as atttractive) was the guy that was less attractive. And I do love "chick" movies and chick lit is kind of my guilty pleasure as a general rule. Just need to find a different author, I guess!
    Lisa

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  5. I liked this for 'chic lit' :) I like your blog, too!

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  6. I love the movie. I think they cast the characters really well. I didn't like it the first time I saw it - but after watching it 90 times on HBO, it really grew on me.

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  7. Brandie, that is so funny! I'm sure I've watched movies that often but usually because I already like them!

    Lisa

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  8. I hated the movie and so I was not really interested in reading the book. And after reading your review I am glad I did not waste my time on this book.

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  9. I liked the book but I do get what you are saying! It's been too long ago to remember what I liked. and I've had the movie in my Netflix queue forever but it never seems to move to the top of the list...

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