Dawn West is a rut. She moved to New York hoping to become a big shot published writer, and living in a great apartment, but instead is writing for a Lawn Care company, giving advice to people on a subject she doesn't even know about, and has to borrow tons of library books to answer; plus she's living in a run down apartment in Brooklyn, with a roommate who has decided to stop paying her rent, because her plans changed after she quit her job and was supposed to move to Toledo to be with her, now, ex-boyfriend!
While all this is going on, she's also got an ex-boyfriend that somehow continues to pop up in her life...okay, so partially that one's Dawn's own fault. When her ex and his new girlfriend invite Dawn to his parents place for their annual Pretzel Party, her ex is the heir to New York's finest pretzels, his new girlfriend introduced to Dawn to the editor and chief of Charm magazine.
Regina, the editor and chief, invites Dawn to her office, and gives her the task of writing up the 50th anniversary edition of Charm magazine's annual Ten Girls to Watch.
It is Dawn's job to find out what all the past winners up to, interview them, and then in the end pick ten to be featured in the 50th anniversary edition, along with this year's ten winners.
She's got to find 500 past winners, find out where they live, what they've been up to, and along the way plan a party where all of them are welcome to celebrate the 50th edition.
She's definitely keeping busy!
Along the way, Dawn may learn quite a few things about herself. Learning to deal with the fact that she feels like her life is going no where, Dawn listens to these women's stories, on their story of success, and along the way finds her way in more ways than she could have ever imagined.
What I enjoyed about this book was how realistic Dawn's life felt. The first person point of view made me feel as if I was living in Dawn's footsteps. I found that to be an interesting view point.
I also loved Dawn's raw, sarcastic humor; it made me crack up a couple of times.
After reading Charity Shumway's biography at the end of the book, I feel almost as if this novel could easily be somewhat autobiographical. Shumway, herself, reported on the fiftieth anniversary of Glamour's "Top Ten College Women" contest; which seemed very appropriate for the subject of this work of fiction. :)
I also really enjoyed the design and layout of this book. The paperback copy has each chapter starting off with a "Page" of a profile from of the past winners in the original magazine setting. It was interesting reading about both some of the girls that Dawn didn't get a chance to mention, and then also reading about some who ended up making it into her story.
I think Shumway did a great job with her Debut novel, and I'll definitely be interested to see what she comes out with in the future! :)
Hope everyone didn't have too much of a Manic Monday! ;)
The Romance Bookie