When I was still in a book group, we would have one older member who complained each month about the books we picked. She did not like that they focused on younger women who were having babies. It was very boring to her. Then again, she never made any book suggestions either despite our leader constantly making a request for book ideas.
I bring this up because at the end of the year last year, I joined the reading challenge over at Chick Lit Plus.
I said that I would read one chick lit book per month and of those twelve, two would be debut writers. As it turns out, the founder of the Chick Lit Plus Blog, Samantha March, is a debut writer. She sent me her book Destined To Fail at the end of the December and I read through it like a fiend.
There was a part of me that felt like the older woman in my book group as this story focuses on young women in their first year of college. I have not been there for thirty years but I kept reading because I was interested .
Our narrator is Jasmine who is going to school to make her dreams of being a travel agent come true. She manages to bring her friend, Abby, along. But Abby has a problem. Within two months, Abby announces she s pregnant by the boy Jasmine hoped would disappear once the girls moved three hours away.
Abby drops out and Jasmine finds new room-mates in Cari and Kiley. Soon each girl has their own drama that unfolds and Jasmine manages to find the strength to help each of her friends. And when crisis finds her door, Jasmine digs into her own reservoir to make tough decisions.
This is a light and easy breeze of a book that deals with some tough subjects. Jasmine has many reasons to be a sad sack of a person. And yet, she is the bright light, the beacon of hope for friends who have suffered in similar ways to herself. I think young women will identify with these characters and understand how each woman reacts to her stressors in the way that she does.
As much as I liked this book, there were times I felt as if it was too unreal, too easy. I wondered how Jasmine could have something as each friend’s situation that fit into her own life. And when she chooses to start a foundation, I was amazed at how quickly everything comes together. Another issue I had is while the women in this book tend to have deeper characterizations, the men are two-dimensional in their given roles.
I had other problems in that my copy had some glaring editorial problems with mis-spellings and repeated paragraphs. BUT I also think that Samantha has a good future as a writer as she continues to grow and develop her talent. Her descriptions are good and Samantha has a knack for getting you involved in the story. I really felt as if I was in college once more with quick friendships, big work loads and the reality of needing money for the things of life.
It is a great start for a first time novelist.