Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Review - Slacker Girl by Alexandra Koslow

Summary: (via Goodreads) Jane Cooper's lifestyle is unfamiliar to most of her fellow workaholic New Yorkers. When she is not putting in the absolute minimal time at her job as a relationship manager for an investment firm, she's most likely to be found at her favorite cafe, staring into space, obsessively creating embroidery art, hanging out with friends, listening to music, and/or drinking coffee. In truth, Jane believes that corporate life was unfairly glamorized by "propaganda" films of the 1980s such as Working Girl or Secret to My Success. She dodges the effects of these programs by working as little as possible.

Review: I can say one thing for sure, this book is not for everyone. Although it is a heck of a fun read, it does lack a bit of sophistication, even for the chick-lit novel. The main character, Jane, is drawn up as the ultimate slacker: she wants to work as little as possible and enjoy a leisurely life type of lifestyle as much as possible. But how does that work in NYC without the risk of homelessness? Well, Jane has a good (if not entirely plausible) answer, and she meticulously walks you through the process of acquiring what she’s got. In brief, this involves a lot of good budgeting and some very intricate work-time/play-time maneuvers.
Her narrative has it charms; her reasons for striving to be a twenty-something slacker girl are not entirely unfounded (and I’m saying this as a New Yorker who has some first hand experience at the competitive professional nature of the people that inhibit this city.) But somewhere between trying to create a really fun, really light story about a girl who’s chasing personal gratification over professional success, Koslow doesn’t strike gold. When we first encounter Jane, she seems like an intelligent character with philosophically sound leisurely pursuits that might make you envy her bold decisions in life. But as the story proceeds and the circumstance of her life become naturally more complicated, Jane, in conjunction with her leisure lifestyle motto, starts to make a lot of careless and silly decisions that just make you question her mental capacity for handling life. So, before you decide to read this book, you should ask yourself if you’re interested in reading about a woman who tries very hard to make the mentality of a college party animal work for her at age 28. The story is a journey nonetheless, and Jane does mature a bit before the story comes to an end.
    What I absolutely adored about Slacker Girl was the leading male interest. Jane is a slacker and a bit of an airhead in many departments including romance. However, Ray, the guy who eventually becomes Jane’s The One is so great, it was worth reading through all the not-so-enjoyable sections of the book. I don’t know what I look forward to in my perfect fictional leading man, but this guy gets pretty close. I’m not typically interested in the macho, brooding tough guys or bad boys with a chip on their shoulder. I like those other rarer ones, who are quiet, and awkward and stumble over theirs words every once in a while. Ray is definitely my second favorite leading male character in all books I’ve read this year (the number one spot is currently occupied by Get Lucky’s Everett Thompson.)

LitSnit Verdict: B (C for overall story + A for romance)

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