Skip to main content

Review: Smart Girls Like Me by Diane Vadino

My review of Smart Girls Like Me by Diane Valdino, book 7 of 52, ran in today's St. Petersburg Times. You can read that here.

How different are the print and blog reviews? Let's take a look:

Newspaper review: "Twentysomething works at a fashion publication. Has terrible boss, terrible living situation, boy troubles and little to no fashion sense. Sound familiar? But Diane Vadino's Smart Girls Like Me is nothing like The Devil Wears Prada. It is not a zingy trip through the fashion world (as is the movie) or a dull, whiny recount of one annoying woman's inner monologue (as is the book) but a smart debut novel about a young woman painfully growing into her adult skin."

Blog review: "Smart Girls Like Me by Diane Vadino is the perfect example of a book that I judged by it's cover. It's pink, and the cover image, as you can see, is of a rack of clothes. Even the jacket copy wasn't too promising -- 24-year old who works at a fashion magazine afraid of 1999 turning to 2000. Boy trouble. Wedding trouble. Drugs, sex and rock and roll. Yawn. If it looks like chick lit and talks like chick lit, it's chick lit, right? I am not a fan of the genre. I have no patience for Jennifer Weiner, or her commentary on the subject (which I liken to a Catholic priest defending the church while molesting the alter boy)."

I think they say the same thing but in different ways. On the blog, I can use first person (e.g. "I think this, and I think that"). I could do the same in the newspaper review, but, 99 percent of the time, don't. I'm not a fan of those types of reviews -- the articles should be about the book, right? And would that Catholic priest line have gotten into the newspaper review? Probably not -- at least not in a 350 word review.

I also used the blog review as a starting point to write more about my past romantic foibles -- something I would NEVER do in a newspaper unless I was writing an essay with the goal of saying something important about people and relationships. And that's why I think blogging is so interesting. It takes you in unexpected directions and works more like the human thought process (e.g. jumping around) than the confines of an article. Not that confines are wrong or bad, but I like writing in both mediums.

Thoughts? Opinions? Hit up the comments.

Comments

I completely agree. I often take tidbits from interviews or other observations from the "cutting room floor" of my articles and include them in a blog post, because there's more room for tangents on a blog. I've been wanting to read this book and I have it on hold at the library (yes, I'm that cheap). Oh, and I'm adding you to my blogroll!

Popular posts from this blog

Book 12 of 52: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

Marjane Satrapi is an author and graphic novelist who grew up in Iran and, as a tween and teen, lived in the country through  the Iranian Revolution before her parents sent her to Europe for school, and for her safety.  As an adult, she wrote Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood ,  a nonfiction graphic novel, originally in French. I read the English translation, which was published in 2003, three years after the original. It was a critical success, won a slew of awards, and became a movie . I haven't read the sequel, Persepolis 2 , but I hope to (you can also  buy them in a set . I found Persepolis  in a Little Free Library, or I'd have bought them combined).  In the tradition of Art Spiegelman's  Maus , which is about the author's father talking to him about the Holocaust,  Persepolis  is a memoir of trauma told through a mix of images and words that when combined, combust into powerful, beautiful and soul cracking art.  For example, Satrapi portrays the 1978 Cinema R

Book 23 of 52: Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

More romance? Of course! The world is on fire, and I can't ingest all the fires all the time. Sometimes I want to turn to genre fiction as an escape, even if an escape is into a patriarchal society where it's SCANDAL that a woman sometimes, when riding a horse, wears pants. Because of Miss Bridgerton is the first book in Julia Quinn's Rokesbys Series , which are prequels to her enormously popular  Bridgerton Series  (and now a  Netflix show ). These books are similar, of course, but instead being set in the Recency era of the 1810s, these books take place at the same time as the American Revolution (though still in England).  Here we meet Sybilla "Bille" Bridergton, who is stuck on the roof of a building because she chased a cat up there. She climbed up herself (scandalous woman!) but also twisted her ankle in the process, which is why she needs help to get down.  That help comes from George Rokesby. Their families are neighbors, and they've known each other

Book 26 of 52: The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — the Truth and the Turmoil by Tina Brown

I'm not going to write a long review of Tina Brown's The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — the Truth and the Turmoil  for two reasons. First, it's been hashed to death already, as anything about the royals is, by people who are far more invested in this whole thing than I am. And second, I'm in the frantic "do I really need a jean jacket AND a windbreaker" level of packing before a long trip. I can say that I didn't mind listening to this nearly 18 hour audiobook while the rest of the world is on fire, although of course they are not insulated. We can pretend that the Royal Family lives in a bubble, but they are enormously influential; touched by the same issues of race, class and gender; and Queen Elizabeth II is one of most influential politicians of modern times — and she is a politician, no matter what anyone says. Her death will be a global, cultural moment. Same thing with the Pope, on both fronts. I listened to Brown's  The Diana Chro