Sunday, January 19, 2014

Shy Town Girls by Katie Leimkuehler, Jennifer Yih, and M.G. Wilson

3 Star

Ivy Westin, sassy with confidence to spare, lives life according to her own rules whether people like it or not—and not everyone does. At twenty-four, Ivy has almost everything she wants: a killer career in PR, fabulous friends, and a line of guys around the block. Not to mention she lives in one of the greatest cities in the world—Chicago.

But all that changes when Ivy’s best friend, Ella, invites her playboy brother, Shane, to town. But Shane isn’t the only guy causing havoc in her life. Ivy’s father, who has been out of the picture for over a decade, suddenly returns and starts meddling where he isn’t welcome. 

Ivy turns to her friends Ella, Bobbie, and Meryl, who all live together in the Gold Coast, for support. The one thing getting her through it all: rooftop nights splitting bottles of wine and sharing stories about their dating disasters and careers they’ve killed to be in—that are now are killing them. Ivy—once on top of the world—now finds herself drowning in her own lies. She’ll have to decide whether to come clean and risk ruining a friendship or to keep her mouth shut and hope her secret will never be revealed.

Kaley - 3 Star

When I first heard about the Shy Town Girls series, I was intrigued. Each book focuses on a different friend and the girls are all around my age (mid-twenties). Ivy’s story is actually the second in the series but author Katie Leimkuehler assured me that it didn’t matter what order I read the books in. I think that was in part because each book is actually written by a different author. I was a little let down with the novel overall but I think it’s a case of it being a personal thing. I think others might like it much more than I did.

My biggest issue, and why I didn’t love the book overall, was actually Ivy. I’m a huge character person and I like to like the main characters, or at least connect with them on some sort of level. Ivy really annoyed me. At twenty five she was still getting out of control drunk and didn’t realize how ridiculous her behaviour was. I couldn’t believe how immature she would act around Shane, Ella’s brother and the obvious love interest. There was no reason for her behaviour and I found it hard to reconcile her earlier actions with how the story ended up. Finally, (and small spoiler alert) Ivy gets a coworker fired. This coworker was behaving horribly to Ivy but I was really hoping Ivy would take the high road. No such luck. I just couldn’t connect with Ivy and I couldn’t see myself being friends with her.

The other thing that kind of drove me bonkers was the fact that a lot of the times the characters didn’t say things…they chirped or mumbled or sang or teased. It may sound weird but that really got on my nerves. I read something once, no idea when or where but I did read it, that if you have to use words like that instead of “said” then you’re not describing the rest of your book well enough.

I did like that the girls were all in their mid-twenties because I am as well. I felt like their lifestyle accurately portrayed what it’s like to be a twentysomething female living in a large city. They were all trying to figure out exactly where they belonged in the workforce and were trying to find the best fit and the one that made them happiest. Not to mention trying to find a relationship that was more than a one night stand and could actually mean something.

Reading about the friendship between Ivy, Ella, Bobbie, and Meryl was a lot of fun. The girls were tight knit and were each other’s family since none of them lived in the same city as their blood relatives. They were as close as sisters – which meant they bickered as much as sisters! Their relationships weren’t too perfect but I do have to say there were times I was rolling my eyes at how easily they forgave each other and how overly emotional they got with each other.

Overall, Shy Town Girls: Ivy was…alright. Katie Leimkuehler’s novel in the series didn’t blow me away but, like I said, I think this may have been my own personal bias. It’s very possible that others could read this and really like it so if the synopsis interests you I say give this series a try. 

Thank you to Networlding Publishing for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

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