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She’s the Girl
ISBN: 0972932925

By Susan Brooks
Review by: Deanna Wolff

12/01/04

Susan Brooks’s She’s the Girl has it all: sex, drugs and rock n’ roll, gays and even a felon.

The heroine of the book, Natalie, loves love and, less than a month after her 35th birthday, embarks on a 2,000 mile road trip to Ruune, North Dakota, where she plans to surprise her high school sweetheart, Guy, with her visit. The fact that he found her after so many years only because she bought a pair of boots from the same company for which he works was to her a sign that he would fulfill her love fantasy.

Nat is a dreamer and was never what she calls a ‘Fresh Girl’ – the popular girls in school who easily and freely connected with each other. “Not good with girls” is how she explains her lack of female friends.

Nat’s journey puts her in the path of many colorful characters and it would be very unlikely that she would meet and make friends with any of them in her ‘normal’ life in L.A. But I found it difficult to believe that a woman at 35 years of age lacked so much self-confidence and sensibility as Nat – especially one who lives in such a fast-paced, big city as L.A. I was also very confused about for whom the book is intended – it’s too ‘grown-up’ for an adolescent girl, yet too unbelievable for a reader who is anywhere close to the heroine’s age.

Stylistically, Brooks’s writing is informal and whereas Brooks’s use of imagery and metaphors is quite skillful, her attempts at humor fell short of my expectations. However, the several twists in the story made me want to keep reading. And, of course, wanting to know the answer to the question ‘Does Nat find true love with Guy?’ also propelled me to continue reading.

Without giving away the ending, Nat does work through some of her personal issues which a reader expects from a heroine. Unfortunately, however, it all happened so quickly that I was left with the feeling that the author fled the building because it was on fire.

Despite these weaknesses, the reader can’t help but open her eyes and her mind to different possibilities and outcomes of life’s mysteries, and that love sometimes is not what it appears to be.

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