Friday, August 3, 2012

Review of Ten Girls to Watch by Charity Shumway

Author: Charity Shumway

Goodreads Synopsis:

A funny and uplifting debut novel about stumbling through the early years of adulthood while taking (or not taking) the advice of the women who've gone before you. Dawn West is trying to make her way in New York City. She’s got an ex-boyfriend she can’t quite stop seeing, a writing career that’s gotten about as far as penning an online lawn care advice column, and a small hometown in Oregon that’s her last recourse if she can’t make next month’s rent.      So when Dawn lands a job tracking down the past winners of Charm magazine’s “Ten Girls to Watch” contest, she’s thrilled. Not only is she being paid to interview hundreds of fascinating women, but she’s also sharing office space with “Secret Agent Romance,” Charm’s resident dating columnist, and he just happens to be giving her butterflies.     As Dawn gets to know the life stories of these former winners, she’ll discover that success, love, and friendship can be found in the most unexpected of places. And even more importantly, she’ll find that though those who have gone before us can be role models, ultimately, we each have to carve our own way.    Both an insightful look at the trajectory of female experience over the past fifty years and a witty coming of age story, Ten Girls to Watch introduces an unforgettable new voice in women’s fiction.

Recently released by Atria Books (Simon & Schuster) July 31, 2012
 My Take:

I was super psyched to read this book as you can tell from my post last Friday. It took me one week to finish. Dawn West was a relatable character. A twenty-something-year-old just out of college and making her way in the world. As a soon-to-be graduate myself, I was hoping for a little bit of inspiration. What I got? Well, life. (Which isn't a bad thing) Let me explain. Shumway takes from her relatively similar experience and creates a story full of inspirational women and a character who stumbles along in life. We follow her through her career, her love life and her low points. 

There isn't some giant realization at the end or some happily ever after. There are the small gifts of happiness life tosses you. She doesn't allude to some grandeur life goal that's revealed once we make "it" passed a certain point in life. Things don't get easier, they merely become different. What I learned? Each little thing you do brings you closer to the life you want to create for yourself, even if you're not quite sure what it is yet. I did feel that certain scenes could have been given a little more depth, but Shumway was real in her approach, honest, and humorous. Can't complain. A delightful read. Definitely relatable for those with literary aspirations and life in New York City. 

My Rating:

4.5 out of 5



  1. Gotta grab this for my daughter who just graduated with a degree in creative writing.

  2. It's definitely worth the read :) Held a certain charm.

  3. "If you haven't any charity in your heart you have the worst kind of heart trouble" to cure it help people, let's unite for one good cause, be a volunteer"save lives"! mawaddainternationalaid