This is my first posted book review. Actually, in all honesty, it is the first book review I have written in oh...at least 2-3 years. Yikes! Anyway, since I have to start doing this soon for my internship (that is what I am choosing to call it), I figure I could use the practice. So here is how this thing will work: I promise to note these reviews with [BOOK REVIEW] so for those of you uninterested can skip. In return, please feel free to comment on what I've written, argue with me (this will work especially great if you've read the book I will be discussing). Since the book I am currently reading is taking longer than expected, I will probably also back-track and critique books I previously read. Oh and one more thing: I do not, in any way, pretend that I can spell. Ok, end of prologue.
The Review -- A Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
A Girls Guide primarily follows the life of Jane, through various stages of her life. Bank accomplishes this by styling the book in a series of short stories. While these stories are unified, in that most of them involve the same character and later stories build on previous ones, each story in and of itself can also be read as a contained snypet of a particular section of Jane's life.
For me, Jane worked tremendously well as a character. She exhibited enough positive qualities to earn her my respect and ability to like her, but she was not perfect, and her sense of cynisism and delusion about love, life, and her chosen profession make her that much more enjoyable.
Underlying Jane's experiences throughout these stories, is, as indicated by the book's title, a guide for twenty-something women as they navagate the mysteries of love -- a "how-to" manual, if you will. The last chapter (or story, depending on your take), is perhaps the most enjoyable, and most ingenius. Jane finds herself tempted to explore the advise of a self-help book in order to help her love life. What makes this section so clever is that while drawing attention to the realm of the self-help book, Banks also mocks herself in her attempts to resemble one via the persona of Jane. The book suddenly takes on a more light-hearted tone, as Jane learns, as does the reader throughout reading Bank's book, that the best self-help advice comes from...well, the self -- who did you think?
My only criticism lays within one chapter/story. About half-way throughout A Girls Guide, the reader leaves the life of Jane, and is given a glimpse into another character instead. I did not fully understand the necessity for this, as it only vaguely related to the rest of the book.
Bank's demonstrates a fun, easy-to-read style of writing, with plot lines full of wit and humour. She introduces the reader to a character that the reader does not want to leave. This book was published prior to Bridget Jones and the Bridget Jones's clones, predecessing the naive, yet cynical, humour that made Bridget the best friend of many women. Unlike Bridget's annoying self-torture-like tendencies, Bank's Jane presents the reader with a confident, yet slightly unaware, woman -- one who needs a little "guiding," if you will.
Is this clear or do I ramble too much? It's been years since I did one of these so yeah, any feedback would be great