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.

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Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.


  1. Susan Johnston Taylor on December 2, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    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!

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