ROMANTICALLY CHALLENGED by Beth Orsoff

ROMANTICALLY CHALLENGED

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Entertainment lawyer crunches the numbers, drastically ups her dating frequency to increase likelihood of meeting Mr. Right, like, now.

The whiny heroine of Orsoff’s debut is Julie Burns, a 32-year-old East Coast girl living in L.A. and practicing law for a real jerk of a boss. She’s sort of trying to find a man, though the last one left her emotionally scarred and somewhat skittish. But when perennial bridesmaid Julie starts talking to the friendly bartender at her cousin Sharon’s wedding, gets completely blitzed and wakes up without her water bra, she decides that she needs to go ahead and find a man already. Her campaign doesn’t begin well: The first likely prospect Julie meets is a nice ER doctor who grabs a bucket for her when she almost projectile-vomits on him after getting food-poisoning. Then the wedding bartender and her bra resurface in embarrassing fashion. The bulk of the text occupies itself with the rituals of SoCal dating and a protagonist blessed with plenty of friends willing to set her up. Naturally, it wouldn’t do for Julie to find true love on the first date, and her litany of disappointing encounters mines familiar comic territory. Girl has high hopes, guy seems normal and a potential prospect, then turns out to be a mutant in an especially grotesque but amusing way. Laugh. Repeat. Mr. Right found eventually. Unfortunately, Orsoff’s way of accomplishing this is to send Julie on a series of bad—not awful, just drearily bad—dates, then let her complain incessantly about them to her astonishingly patient girlfriends over pints of Ben and Jerry’s. Note to author: Provide protagonist with at least one positive or endearing quality.

The Bataan Death March of chick-lit: At 200 pages, it might have been diverting, at 350-plus, it’s just painful.

Pub Date: April 4th, 2006
ISBN: 0-451-21774-8
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: NAL/Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2006




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