Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Good In Bed by Jennifer Weiner

For twenty-eight years, things have been tripping along nicely for Cannie Shapiro. Sure, her mother has come charging out of the closet, and her father has long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her friends, her rat terrier, Nifkin, and her job as pop culture reporter for The Philadelphia Examiner. She’s even made a tenuous peace with her plus-size body.
But the day she opens up a national women’s magazine and sees the words “Loving a Larger Woman” above her ex-boyfriend’s byline, Cannie is plunged into misery…and the most amazing year of her life. From Philadelphia to Hollywood and back home again, she charts a new course for herself: mourning her losses, facing her past, and figuring out who she is and who she can become.

It was absolute challenge to finish this book. I borrowed it from a friend who surprisingly spoke highly of it, and I’m almost wondering if she was saying that as a mean joke to get me to read it. I read a lot of books, and I can’t remember ever having such a hard time finishing a book.

One of my biggest pet peeves is people constantly portraying themselves as the victim; no matter what happens, nothing is ever their fault. Cannie is a constant victim. The entire book was her whining or pouting or crying because she decided to break up with her boyfriend and now she regrets it, and she’s fat and will never, ever find anyone to love her again. Give me a freaking break. First of all, if I remember correctly she is listed as 5’10, size 16, and size D boobs. Call me crazy, but I don’t think being a size 16 and almost 6 feet tall constitutes as ‘fat.’ I know the book was supposed to send out a positive message to plus-size women, but it upset me the way Cannie talked down about herself constantly and referred to herself as fat numerous times throughout the book. I’m not even a big girl and it upset me! I’m sure some women read this book and loved it, but to me it was actually kind of depressing. Jennifer Weiner tried to use sarcasm and wittiness to mask Cannie’s unhappiness, but I just didn’t buy it. Nor did I believe that a doctor who specializes in weight loss would be captivated by a patient who continually dogged herself for being ‘fat.’ I’m not a relationship expert, but I’m friends with enough guys to know that no guy wants to date a girl who continually talks bad about herself…even if it is in a joking fashion like Cannie tends to do.  

I also didn’t appreciate the way Cannie (and her siblings) acted towards her mother’s girlfriend. I don’t know what it’s like to have your mom go from straight to gay; I’m sure it’s not an easy transition, but I just found their actions towards her almost hateful. One example that comes to mind is when they all throw the items she made them for Christmas in the fire. Really nice, huh? I don’t understand why her extreme dislike for Tanya was relevant to the plot, and it actually made me dislike Cannie even more. 

The storyline wasn’t believable (nor was it very interesting) and the main character came off as a whiny, complaining teenager…except she’s not a teenager. She’s 28-years-old. This is one book that I really regret reading, yet as bad as it was, I had to finish it. I kept hoping it would get better. It didn’t. 

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