Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner

Product Details

  • Pub. Date: April 2009
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Format: Paperback, 416pp
  • Sales Rank: 4,854
Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner is the sequel to Good in Bed.  In this book, we meet up with Canny Shapiro when her daughter, Joy, is getting ready for her bat mitzvah.  Joy is growing up and is arguing with her mother while also trying to find her place in the world.  Joy reads her mother’s book and begins to question everything that she held true from her childhood.  Does her mom even want her?  Was her grandfather such a bad man?  Did Bruce care about her, or was she totally unwanted by both parents?  As Joy struggles with her identity, Canny and Peter have tough decisions to make as well.  Canny’s publisher wants her to do another book as herself.  The public wants to have another Candace Shapiro best seller.  Peter also wants to have a baby.  Should the two of them go through the process of getting a surrogate mother because Canny can not have any more children?
I really enjoy Jennifer Weiner.  I started out reading her books with a bit of hesitation, but each story seems to catch my interest and her characters are always endearing.  Joy reminds me of my students.  She is questioning everything that adults tell her and finding her own way.  She goes through some extremes, but she is constantly learning and reevaluating life.  Her character is written beautifully.  Weiner has captured the adolescent spirit perfectly.  Canny is as sharp-witted as she is in the first novel, but she does not shine as brightly in this novel.  She seems to be more subdued as a mother.  The only part that I did not like is the ending.  As things were starting to get better in the novel and I was preparing myself for a happy ending, Weiner through in a twist that shattered my heart.  It was an extremely shocking ending and I can’t really say that I liked it.  That could just be because I like happy endings, but it through a wrench in what I expected.  I’m not used to being surprised in books.  I am sure that a lot of people enjoy this type of thing, it just didn’t work for me.
4/5 stars
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