Passionate About the Community
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Poor Maynard & Jennica (Oct/Nov Book Club Book Review)

Well friends, let’s all agree that a smaller, seemingly short book is not always a quick read. I’ve been trying to figure out why this novel was hard to get down. I like New York City, I love many people living there, and I’ve often wondered what it would have been like to do a summer internship or take an entry level job up there after school.

But I didn’t like Maynard, and he didn’t make me laugh. Maybe I’m tired? Maybe I’m not on his level of disdain and understanding of people and their motives? Maybe he was just too insecure for me to really cheer him on and care if he finds happiness.


To finish or not to finish a book…what if the main character is more annoying than finding an empty jar of Aquaphor and its contents schmeared all over the room?

And if I could tolerate Maynard (at best), attempting to like or want to read about Jennica (and thus their relationship…and thus most of the book) was grueling. I understand that a novelist needs to create a character’s voice. However, peppering ‘like’ throughout internal dialogue is a surefire way to make me roll my eyes. Every. Time. Perhaps that was the point—I suppose Jennica was written to be annoying and get under your skin (and she certainly was and did). Since I currently live with two lovely young men who walk that delicate line between having the sweetest little ideas ever and choosing to do some of the most annoying things in the world (Example from this weekend: Let’s cover our friend’s room and playthings with Aquaphor while the parents are gabbing. Why not? Sounds like a lot of fun to me too!), I couldn’t escape to a better or more interesting place in Jennica’s world. Frankly, reading a grown woman’s inner monologue in a weird dialect screaming valley-girl and self-absorbed brat kept the book from being, like, totally accessible to me.

There were a few interesting twists. 9/11 was certainly covered in a new and irreverent way. Their discussion of potential cat names made me feel particularly poorly-read. Maybe I would feel differently if I had experienced living in California or New York. Maybe I would have appreciated their take on the world if I surrounded myself with people who take themselves too seriously and are determined to find the negative side to everything. Maybe I would feel differently if I didn’t have children or if I weren’t married. What about you? Did I miss some big points?

If you didn’t read it or didn’t finish it, how long do you give a book before you lay it down? Have you ever made yourself finish a book because you said you would?

Thank goodness we’re looking at some easy to read, plot driven, fantastical YA lit in Dec and Jan. Have you checked out the suggested titles? Anything you’ve been dying to read?

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