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Smart Women (2005)

Smart Women (2005)
3.42 of 5 Votes: 2
0425206556 (ISBN13: 9780425206553)
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Smart Women (2005)
Smart Women (2005)

About book: My first Judy Blume novel ever. So I don't know how it compares with her other works. I read the book quickly and finished it. It was easy-to-read and the characters didn't surprise you too much. What you expected to happen, happened. In that way, it was one of those comforting reads, a story about life, and how it happens, sometimes with flair, but more often then not, no flair. So, it was okay. And if it were any other book, I might have agreed to give it 3 stars, but I was expecting more from Judy Blume. This is a name that I have heard over and over again, and I wanted there to be more substance in the stories she was telling, and I wanted to characters to develop more within the story and make unexpected choices instead of doing what I expected. Additionally, the way the story was told, from the perspective of multiple female characters, sometimes all the different characters were hard to keep track of, because, unfortunately, they weren't memorable enough in the first place. I also don't know if Judy Blume was super radical as an author many years ago. (I mean probably, right?) Writing about women, single, married or divorced, and their stories, and not always about how they can't make it, but how they strive to be economically independent and how they make good and bad choices, is kind of a radical thought, no? Women are not normally written about in that way. Stories that focus on women, and the lives of women, that aren't always or only about the men or lack of men in their life is a rarely heard storyline. Stories about women being good at their jobs, smart, caring, and responsible aren't a very popular theme, and then if they are written about it is "chick lit." I wish this book had done a little more of that, straying away from the focus on men in their lives, but I could see the etchings of Blume's intention, to spotlight on the lives of women as strong main characters that didn't need or want saving. More stories should always be written about women, not in character tropes, not obsessed with love relationships, but just as people who do things. I was surprised at the abortion storyline in this book. Something that is a super hot button issue right now, was just a resource that these teen girls knew about and used, because having a child at that young age wasn't an option for them. It was a great mini plot development, not over done. It was just an option open to people and seemed the most reasonable and necessary choice at the time. Great work, Ms. Blume, and thank you.I'll try another. I want to read great stories about female characters.

Who doesn't love the drama of a Judy Blume book? This was a different POV take on a lot of characters. The main was Margo, who after a divorce moved from NYC to Bolder, Colorado. She had 2 kids Michelle and Stuart. Her ex Freddy, a dentist, is remarried and in typical form plays the kids against her. I enjoyed the different POV and how what actually comes out of your mouth is rarely what you feel. I think A lot of Margo's behavior was more than honest. I think a lot of divorced woman hide their sex lives, boyfriends and tend to behave for the benefit of the kids. So, what I appreciated about Margo was that she was out for herself in a lot of ways. In addition to Margo there were her two friends, BB who was so troubled and Clare who was a real best friend. B.B. and Margot are casual friends, her daughter Sara was at the other end of BB's abuse. She was so manic and nobody saw it except Sara and she was too young to understand. BB and her ex had a son Bobby who was killed in a tragic car accident while Andrew drove him and two friends home from a baseball game. The fact that BB kept this a secret was really her downfall. She has feelings that were sealed up for years. Clare had a daughter "Puffin" what kind of a name is that? She was very successful and her ex Robin comes back. The two were never divorced. The cutest thing was when Puffin hooked up with Stu, Margo's son. Then they had a lot to deal with and that is a reveal and spoiler too! When BB asks Margo to help get her husband the rental next door for the summer, Margo helps. she and Andrew resist each other, I think Margo resisted more, eventually they get together. I know Margo promised herself she was going to be serious and resisted him for that reason.Tons of drama and overall I thought it was a solid 4* book. People who wrote and reviewed made comments about the time and it takes place in the 80's. I really didn't see that many references and where some saw this as a negative I saw it as a non issue.
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Ugh. It's decided, I just can't read this type of book. And anything nice I have to say is a pretty thinly disguised line:Comment: It's not so much this book, its this genre- Internal dialogue: I think it is lame but I'll pretend it has potential for someone else in order to not come across as a bitchComment: I suppose I could try this type of book again- Internal dialogue: I'm totally not interested in this but its better than being actively involvedComment: It was an easy read -Internal dialogue: Way too nice and way too simple to keep my interest and gawd I'm bored.yup, that pretty much sums it up. The characters were beyond flat, I never gave a second though to completely bland Margo, BB was nuts at least, Clare was nonexistant, and Andrew a complete dullard. But, yeah, it was an easy read or something...
Ngozi O. Nwosu
I enjoyed this book for the complexity of the characters. I've seen a few reviews complaining the women in the book are not smart. Personally, I disagree. They are all smart in their own way but they have very real human weaknesses. Ultimately, those weaknesses either get them into trouble or when exploited, lead them something new and positive.I particularly enjoyed the POV of the daughters and son in this story. Stuart, Michelle and Sarah have very definite opinions about their parents' behavior and choices. How they express those opinions is interesting and very unique to each child. It is very clear how those choices impact the kids' behavior and relationships both in the home and with outsiders. It is also sadly evident that the children are all looking for something they feel they are not getting at home.All told, I enjoyed this book for the story. It was layered and the characters made sense to me. While I might not have made their choices, I understand why they made them. Because of that, I can respect what happens next.
Maybe I'm just not ready for middle-aged chick lit yet, but I felt like I was reading a Lifetime Original movie. It had all the prerequisite plot devices: divorce, puberty, affairs, teen sex, and mental breakdowns. To top it all off, it was set in the 1980s. I remember enjoying Blume's childrens books when I was young, and unfortunately I felt like that's what I was reading again, only with sex and foul language thrown in. Blume can write very realistic children, but this talent does not translate well to adults. Much of the dialogue fell flat, sounding like monotone in my head. To her credit, there was some funny banter between Margo and Andrew, I felt real pity for B.B., and the children (Sara and Michelle) were very believable and sympathetic characters. All in all, Blume should stick to what she does best: children's fiction.
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