I didn't make it through Jennifer Weiner's Certain Girls. I can still say good things about it, though. I loved her characterization. The mom/MC was definitely insecure yet cocky enough to get away with her individuality. The daughter is also well-written, distinctive and vibrant. The secondaries added to my ability to know the Main Characters better without drawing all the attention to themselves...even though they are quirky and fun.
However, the mother is the reason I stopped reading. But it was the portrayal of the mother through the daughter's Point-of-View that bugged me. The daughter, a deaf young woman just trying to break free, has a hard time with her mother's attention. This theme does not bother me. It's not the daughter's angst...
No! It is their combined image issues. Ack! I'm fat, my mom has big boobs and she flaunts them--which is annoying because in the mom's POV we've got her dogging herself because of her LACK of physical attributes--I'm so ugly and that's why I screwed up, thank goodness I found a man who can love me anyway. So what is it? Is she flat chested? or big-boobed?
The overall worst, though [and this is just from reading the first two chapters] was the mother's notion that her daughter was going to do so much better than she ever did BECAUSE she was beautiful. [I get that this is probably one of the main story arcs and that if I could get through the beginning, there would probably be a satisfying resolution] The mother barely survived adolescence as the ugly duckling. She is sure that life would have been better for her if she'd been beautiful. Now, we know the mother is not ugly! [what is ugly anyway?] because no one else perceieves her that way... not even the daughter. Unfortunately, when we hit the daughter's POV again, we find out the daughter has her own self-esteem issues in the beauty department...
And that is when I started pulling my hair out.
Sorry, I just can't keep going. I don't have it in me to watch this mother learn a lesson she really needs. I felt sorry for the daughter, yet at the same time, I wanted to smack her and tell her to WAKE UP! So she has a mom who is a little overbearing... deal with it. She could have a mother who is a drug addict. At least her mom cares!
My all time favorite character in this book is the Husband. I can see this story as a romance... Would rather see this story as a romance.
Thank God for my husband who always tells me--actually, he gets adamant, "Stop reading if you don't like it!" Anyway, this is just one lady's opinion of a well-recieved, well-written novel. And it was well-written, just not my cup of tea in the topic department. :)