Monday, April 28, 2014

The Smart One by Jennifer Close

"I just think you can't be so quick to be so sure of other people's situations.  Examine you own situations.  You also have a lot of choices.  It's not always easier for other people.  It doesn't work like that."

In Jennifer Close's second novel, she looks looks at family, growing up, and getting through life when it didn't go exactly as planned.  This is the story of the three Coffey children: Martha - nearly thirty and still living at home after she's couldn't handle the the pressure of a high-stress nursing career, Clarie - recently broken up with her fiance and having to move back home after running out of money to pay for her New York apartment, and Max - who has his life together, except for knocking up his college girlfriend.  Too old to live at home, the novel follows the Coffeys (and Max's girlfriend) through the struggles of transitioning into adulthood. 

I normally don't read a lot of "chick-lit," but this book had me hooked.  I loved the writing style and rare sense of humor.  The writing was good and the story was engaging, but the real reason I had to give it five stars was because of the realistic portrayal of life, love, and finding your way in a crazy, mixed up world.

Jennifer Close has this amazing way of writing the perfect book exactly when I need it.  I read her first novel, Girls in White Dresses over two years ago - right after I finished college, was some-what single, and had no idea what I was doing with my life.  When I was younger, I always assumed I would finish college and magically everything else would fall into place.  I quickly learned that wasn't the case!  The book was all about being surrounded by everyone you know getting married and and having a perfect career while you're just trying to figure out what you're doing next week.  

Two years later, I now find myself engaged and living with my boyfriend's parents.  I love them, but there is still the day-to-day struggle of dealing with crazy family drama and  trying to be on your own while still feeling like you're in high school.  Not to mention waking up one day and realizing that you're almost 26, getting married in 3 months, and still not an "adult."  This book captured this perfectly.  Jennifer Close a knack for writing the perfect book for getting you through those not-so-perfect situations.

This book was #7 on my top ten list of 2014.

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