Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner

Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner

Reviewed by L.D.Y.

Hardcover (available in trade), 375 pages, 2001

Rating: 8/10

Reason for Reading: I was told it was a good chick-lit book.

Synopsis: 28-year-old Cannie’s life is thrown upside down when her ex-boyfriend starts writing about all the intimate details of their relationship in a national magazine, beginning with his ‘bravery’ at loving a larger woman. Her life and relationships change when the urge to lose weight sparks a series of unforeseen events, from her career, to meeting a new celebrity friend, to an unexpected result stemming from continuing to lust after her ex-boyfriend.

Why you should read this book: For the most part, Good in Bed is well-written, with an interesting variety of characters instead of the typical love interest and two best female friends found in most chick lit books. Halfway through the book, there is an intriguing plot twist, something that, again, is rarely seen in the genre, adding some freshness to the story with the characters’ reactions.

Why you should avoid this book: There’s a fair bit of whining and complaining in the first half of the book, which, while it may be common in a society that breeds insecure women, can too often cross the line from sparking empathy to provoking annoyance.

Opening paragraph:

‘Have you seen it?’ asked Samantha.
I leaned close to my computer so my editor wouldn’t hear me on a personal call.
‘Seen what?’

‘Oh, nothing. Never mind. We’ll talk when you get home.’

‘Seen what?’ I asked again.
‘Nothing,’ Samantha repeated.
‘Samantha, you have never once called me in the middle of the day about nothing. Now come on. Spill.’

Fabulous quotes:

‘Cannie’s very bright,’ I heard him tell one of his golf buddies. ‘She’ll be able to take care of herself. Not a beauty,’ he said, ‘but smart.’

I stood there, hardly believing what I’d heard, and when I finally believed it, I crumpled inside, like a tin can under a car’s wheels. I wasn’t stupid, I wasn’t blind, and I knew that there were many ways in which I differed from Farrah Fawcett, from girls in movies and on posters in boys’ bedrooms. But I’d remembered his hand on my head, his beard tickling my cheek as he kissed me. I was his daughter, his little girl. He was supposed to love me. Now he thought I was ugly. Not a beauty – but what father didn’t think his little girl was beautiful? Except I wasn’t little. And, I guessed, I wasn’t his little girl anymore.
When I look at pictures of myself from that time – and, understandably, there are only about four – there’s this horrible desperate look in my eyes. Please like me, I’m pleading, even as I’m trying to hide myself behind a row of cousins at a bar mitzvah, beneath the hot tub bubbles during a pool party, with my lips drawn in a pained smile, stretched tight over my braces, ducking my head into my neck, hunching my shoulders, slouching to make myself shorter, smaller. Trying to disappear.

‘So basically,’ she said, once she’d stopped spluttering, ‘you’re pining for a guy with a small willy who treated you badly?’

‘He didn’t treat me badly,’ I said. ‘He was very sweet – and attentive – and-‘

But she wasn’t listening. ‘Sweet and attentive are a dime a dozen. And so, I’m sorry to inform you, are small willies. You can do better.’

‘I have to get over him.’

‘So get over him! I insist!’

‘What’s the secret?’

‘Hate!’ said Maxi. ‘Like I said before.’

But I couldn’t hate him. I wanted to, but I couldn’t.

Also recommended: Fly-Fishing by Sarah Harvey; Burning the Map by Laura Caldwell; Jemima J by Jane Green.

Also by this author: The Guy Not Taken; Goodnight Nobody; Little Earthquakes; In Her Shoes.

Author’s website:

© Lisa Yanaky 2003-2007

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