Saturday, June 23, 2007

frenemies - Megan Crane

Megan Crane
5 Spot

Chick Lit

What could be worse than walking in your perfect boyfriend (Nate) kissing a woman you’d thought was a friend since you were freshman roommates? How about getting smashed on Jagermeister and standing on a chair screaming Janis Joplin lyrics at the so-happy couple? How about in front of practically everyone you know? You might think it doesn’t get any worse than that. You’ve never met a frenemy. A frenemy is someone who claims to be your friend, while acting like your enemy.

The worst part, for Augusta (Gus) about this whole thing, though, is that Helen, the frenemy in question, doesn’t seem to understand why Gus is upset. Gus describes Helen as “that girl,” the girl who is effortlessly and unattainably cool. The girl that all the boys want, and all the girls hate, even while wishing they could be like her. Gus is lucky to have two real best friends, Amy Lee and Georgia, who have her back. But, you know, after a while, even a real friend needs to tell you to get over it.

Gus is pretty much any woman who hits 29 and has some idealized vision of her life as an “adult” when she hits 30. For Gus, everything was nicely on track, with a job she loves, and a dream boyfriend. She figured that, by 30, she’d be picking out china patterns. When that blows up, and in such a hurtful way, it’s understandable that this topic is foremost in her mind. A lot. The problem is that, as we follow Gus through the time following Nate’s betrayal, she never lets go.

I’ve read Megan Crane’s previous novels, EVERYONE ELSE’S GIRL and ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE and enjoyed them both. Both of those novels had a weight and a depth that I think is somewhat lacking here. The humorous scenes are jarring when set against Gus’ raw hurt. That’s not to say that this is a bad book. Taken on its own merits, it’s a light, frothy read that’s perfect for the beach. And even when Gus is at her most annoying, she’s still very human. Anyone who has been betrayed will empathize with her.

Rating: 7
June 2007
IBN# 978-0446-69855-9 (trade paperback)


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