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THESE GIRLS by Sarah Pekkanen


by Sarah Pekkanen

Pub Date: April 10th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4516-1254-7
Publisher: Washington Square/Pocket

Pekkanen’s (Skipping a Beat, 2011, etc.)  latest showcases her penchant for exploring relationships wrapped in big-city trappings.

Cate, the features editor for a big-time New York–based women’s magazine called Gloss, and Renee, an associate editor at the same publication, share an apartment the size of a postage stamp with oft-absent model Naomi. When Naomi ditches the pair, hunky writer Trey asks if his seriously damaged younger sister, Abby, can move into Naomi’s room while he’s on the road. Trey, who picks up National Magazine Awards as casually as after-dinner mints, happens to be the hottest thing around, both professionally and as dating material. Renee had an awkward couple of dates with Trey and nurses the hope that she will one day win him over. In the meantime, she’s trying hard to win the position of beauty editor at Gloss but is pitted against two others for the promotion. Determined to bag the job, Renee starts taking the diet pills that Naomi left behind in an attempt to lose weight, while Cate struggles with trying to prove her mettle in the magazine business to a lecherous and demanding boss. All three women harbor secrets that could bring them public humiliation and/or turn their worlds upside down, and Pekkanen’s story traces the ways in which the three work toward making themselves whole while forging a friendship that will outlast disappointments in life and love. A bit heavy on clichés and coincidences, this is a breezy but uninvolving read that revolves around an industry rife with job insecurity. Pekkanen peppers the book with celebrity names and pop-culture references and loads down her prose with unnecessarily detailed descriptions of the characters’ hair, clothes and makeup, but she redeems herself with an unexpected ending. Good fun overall, though the speed at which the female characters bond rings false.

An entertaining but not very memorable take on modern love and life in the Big Apple.