Tuesday, July 31, 2012

(108)Ten Girls to Watch by Charity Shumway

by Charity Shumway 

Publication Date: July 31,2012
Pages: 368


Dawn West is struggling to make rent like so many college kids do right after graduation.  She wants nothing more than to be a writer like her mentor, Helen.  When the only writing gig she finds is writing a lawn care advice column she gives it all she's got.  When her ex-boyfriend invites her to his family's annual party in the Hampton's she goes not expecting to rub elbows with a bigwig from Charm magazine.

The bigwig from Charm magazine, an avid reader of her lawn care advice column, invites Dawn to the office to discuss a project.  It is the 50th Anniversary of a yearly series called Ten Girls to Watch.  Dawn's assignment is to track down all fifty years worth contestants and put together bios for the Anniversary issue.  With each woman that Dawn interviews she starts to learn that love, happiness, and success can be found in the most unusual of places. Will Dawn be able to wow the Editors enough to get a permanent position at Charm?  And will she finally find true love with the hot columnist, Elliott?

Ten Girls to Watch was one of the better Chick Lit novels I have read this year.  Dawn is a woman who is a bit unsure of where her place is in the world.  She wants it to be in writing, but she constantly second guesses her decision not to go to Law School.  As she starts her new assignment she meets all sorts of women who made all sorts of career and life choices and the change in her attitude is almost visible.  The Dawn West who started the Ten Girls to Watch assignment is not the same Dawn West who completes the assignment.   What I really enjoyed about the book (without giving too much away) is that by the end of the book Dawn is comfortable with her own choices and life decisions.   So many Chick Lit novels have the same kind of ending and in Ten Girls to Watch, Charity Shumway went a different direction and it was very refreshing.  Dawn West is the kind of character that I could see Kate Hudson play in the movie adaptation of this book.

Bottom line, as Women it is very natural for us to second guess ourselves.  It is the rare woman who makes a decision and KNOWS that it is the right one. Dawn West is just like you or I, so full of uncertainty right out of college. But just like Dawn, we were exposed to experiences and people who helped us develop that sense of self confidence.  If you would like a little flashback to the girl you once were, check out Ten Girls to Watch.

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Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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