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Review: Girls in White Dresses

November 18, 2011

Isabella, Mary, and Lauren are recent college graduates embarking on their new, adult lives.  They all seem to be underemployed and searching for love.  As they attend their friends’ weddings and baby showers, they begin to wonder if they’ll ever find the happiness they hope to attain.

Girls in White Dresses, by Jennifer Close, captures moments in the lives of Isabella, Mary, and Lauren and explores their feelings, insecurities and frustrations.  Rather than a straightforward plot, the book offers snippets from their lives.  It’s an interesting way to tell a story but, in this case, it was just okay for me.  I found the characters to be shallow and immature and, at times, there were so many of them, I couldn’t keep them straight.   I know the point of the story was to show how the young women were trying to find their place in the world but, quite often, I found them frustrating and wanted to tell them to grow up.  I don’t mean to imply that the book was all bad – there were moments that were amusing and touching and times when I felt one of the women had made a breakthrough.

I listened to the audio version of this book and it’s narrated by Emily Janice Card.  She does a great job, but she had so many characters to give voice to, that I found a few of them odd.  I do wonder if it would have been easier to keep track of the characters in print since most people have enjoyed this book more than I did.  I also wonder if maybe I’m a little too far removed from my twenties to relate to the characters.  The unabridged audio is on 7 CDs and lasts about 8 hours.

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31 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2011 5:52 am

    Sorry this one wasn’t so hot. In the latter part of my life, I find more books to like than dislike. Maybe it’s my age. Maybe I just don’t know how to review. I’m leaning toward the last reason. I’m going to try and do better at reviewing. Most of you are really good reviewers. Pass the word.:) Hope you had a happy birthday.

  2. November 18, 2011 6:34 am

    For me books with several characters are best read than listened to. I can handle one shallow character in a novel but multiple? I’ll probably skip this one.

  3. November 18, 2011 6:34 am

    I really want to try this one. I haven’t read too many reviews on this one. I have the ebook and I hope to get to it soon.

  4. November 18, 2011 7:06 am

    I sometimes wonder about the age gap too. On the other hand, some books don’t translate well to audio.

  5. kaye permalink
    November 18, 2011 8:13 am

    Sorry this one didn’t work that well for you on audio. Realistically, how many voices can one reader do without them sounding odd? snippet form doesn’t sound too appealing to me. I want to be immersed in a story.

  6. November 18, 2011 8:16 am

    I can’t stand shallow 20-somethings. I guess the fact that I was married at 21 and had my first kid at 23 has something to do with it! 🙂

  7. November 18, 2011 8:26 am

    I am not sure this is a book for me. I am afraid I would feel like you did wanting to tell those girls to grow up. I think I’ll take a pass on this one.

  8. November 18, 2011 8:50 am

    I have been on the fence about this one. While I do enjoy a lighter read every now and then, it seems that this book is just chock full of shallow characters, and that might annoy me. I will have do do some more research and considering before I decide on this one, but your review really left an impression on me.

  9. November 18, 2011 9:07 am

    I have found that alot of these sort of books revolving around 20 something females just don’t do it for me anymore. For me, I am convinced it is the age thing. I know that my reading tastes have changed over the years, and this is one area in which that’s true I guess, as I used to read alot of these type of books 20 years ago.

  10. November 18, 2011 9:34 am

    I agree with BFR, some books are not meant for audio consumption. Something about the cover calls to me, and I do think it will end up on my nightstand at some point…hoping I’m not too far removed from my 20s. 🙂

  11. November 18, 2011 9:41 am

    This sounds sort of like girls in traveling pants…

  12. November 18, 2011 9:48 am

    I got this book in print at BEA but haven’t gotten to it yet. I think I could relate to the multiple bridal showers – I have had recent summers like that (and now they are followed by a series of baby showers). Sometimes audios with many characters and only one narrator become too confusing.

  13. Jen - Devourer of Books permalink
    November 18, 2011 9:55 am

    It definitely could be an age gap thing, it is very much geared towards women in the 20s and early-to-mid-thirties, but that is definitely a lot of characters and situations to try to keep track of in audio. I wanted to do an audio reread, because I like Emily Janice Card, but maybe I’ll make sure to keep the book at hand when I do.

  14. November 18, 2011 10:52 am

    Because there are so many characters in this book, I think I would prefer to read a paperback or hard copy of it to listening to it on audio. I have a harder time listening to books with these narrative styles and multiple characters.

  15. November 18, 2011 10:53 am

    I’m sorry this one was just mediocre for you. It is probably one that I’ll pass up for now.

  16. November 18, 2011 11:51 am

    I’m not sure it would be my cup of tea either. At a certain point, I do think you can’t read these types of books and really enjoy them.

  17. November 18, 2011 12:25 pm

    Great, honest review, Kathy! Enjoy your weekend.

  18. November 18, 2011 12:48 pm

    I think it would be hard to keep the characters straight when you’re only visiting them at certain points in time. I’m thinking this one isn’t for me.

  19. November 18, 2011 1:23 pm

    Saw this one around, sorry you didn’t find that great, thanks! for the review!

  20. November 18, 2011 3:32 pm

    I appreciate everything that you said…and it’s why I hesitate about reading this book.

  21. November 18, 2011 5:11 pm

    Thank you for your review.

  22. November 18, 2011 5:21 pm

    Oh man, the premise of this book sounds like one I would really like so I am sad to hear that in reality it plays out to be kind of shallow. Oh well!

  23. November 18, 2011 7:32 pm

    I don’t know if I’d be ablet o keep track of that many characters on an audio! Whew!

  24. November 18, 2011 9:05 pm

    It sounds like this should have been read by more than one person, perhaps three readers?

  25. November 18, 2011 11:15 pm

    I won this one is a giveaway and am lookign forward to reading it, even if I am feeling more removed from my 20’s everyday 🙂 Which is weird since I see more girls int heir 20’s than ever, now that I’m a mom.
    I really do adore the cover.

  26. November 18, 2011 11:20 pm

    I think I might like this one since I’m not too far removed from the baby days. (And now I’ve got the “Favorite Things” song stuck in my head because of that title.)

  27. November 18, 2011 11:42 pm

    I wonder if listening did make a difference…. I’m not as good of a “listener” as a “reader” so I’d probably have problems following them too.

  28. November 19, 2011 3:21 am

    I’m still procrastinating on listening to books but I do have a few waiting to be listened to. I subscribe to Audible.com. 😀 This book sounds a little unappealing, but I do like what it’s trying to convey.

  29. November 19, 2011 9:42 pm

    I’d probably have a hard time with the age gap (and priority gap … that shallowness that you mention)

  30. November 20, 2011 3:33 pm

    It’s funny but now I look at books so differently, more discerningly. I once loved the Shopaholic books, and Queen of Babble series, but now I’ve let the last few just go without reading. Every book does not have to be deep, but I find that some book types are just not calling to me as they once did.
    I appreciate your review.
    Oh I do also think my age and place in life impacts my interests too.

  31. November 29, 2011 8:13 pm

    I haven’t read this yet, but I think I was afraid of the same thing.. that I wouldn’t like the characters or would think they were immature. I’ve only listened to a few audios but I know for sure the voice thing would bother me!

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