Book Review: Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess

Brooklyn GirlsBrooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess
Paperback, 320 pages
Published: July 2nd 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin 
Review Copy: NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon -- Barnes & Noble
Description From GoodReads:
Fantastically funny, fresh and utterly relatable, Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess is the first novel in her brand new series about five twenty-something friends—Pia, Angie, Julia, Coco and Madeleine—sharing a brownstone in hip, downtown Brooklyn, and discovering the ups and downs and ins and outs of  their “semi-adult” lives. The first story belongs to sophisticated, spoiled, and stylish Pia, who finds herself completely unemployed, unemployable, and broke. So what is a recent grad with an art history degree and an unfortunate history of Facebook topless photos to do? Start a food truck business of course! Pia takes on the surprisingly cutthroat Brooklyn world of hybrid lettuce growers, artisanal yogurt makers and homemade butter producers to start SkinnyWheels—all while dealing with hipster bees, one-night-stands, heartbreak, parental fury, wild parties, revenge, jail, loan sharks, playboys, karaoke, true love, and one adorable pink food truck. And that's without counting her roommates' problems, too. Gemma Burgess has captured the confusion, hilarity and excitement of the post-graduate years against a backdrop of the pressures and chaos of New York City life, with heartfelt empathy, fast humor and sharp honesty.

A charming debut series about five twenty-something girls and the humor, heartbreak, and drama that bring them together.

My Review:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I hadn’t heard of Brooklyn Girls until I had the chance to review it, and at first, I wasn’t entirely sure it was the right book for me, but I’m glad I kept reading through to the end. There were some things that bothered me, but overall, I enjoyed reading Pia’s story and definitely feel as someone that is in her mid-twenties, I could relate to most of what Pia and the other girls were going through in Brooklyn Girls.

When we first meet Pia, she is an irresponsible party girl that can’t hold a job, or make the right decisions. When her father finds out she’s lost the job at a PR agency that he helped her get, he tells her that she has six weeks to get a job, or she’ll be forced to leave New York and move back home.

That is when Pia decides it is time to grow up and take responsibility for her actions.

Over the course of the book, Pia makes a lot of mistakes (seriously, a lot), but it is from her mistakes that she really learns who she is and who she wants to be. For me, that is one of the best parts of Brooklyn Girls. There is a lot of character development here, and even though at times, Pia manages to get herself into some strange situations, she manages to change from a crazy party girl into a responsible young woman with a successful business.

There is romance, but it isn’t the main focus. In fact, it is rather brief. But I think the way Burgess handled this was smart. While Aidan is an awesome character and I really liked what little what did get to see of him, I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed this book as much had their relationship been the focal point of the story. It is hard to find a contemporary new adult read in which romance isn’t the focus of the story, so it was a nice change.

While I enjoyed Brooklyn Girls, there were some things that I disliked:

The Cosmo storyline: I understand that she needed the loan, and while I get that being unemployed and with, I’d assume, little credit to her name, it would’ve been impossible to go through a bank, this entire story line just seem a bit forced and out of place.

How easily she started up the food truck: Starting a business is hard. But for Pia, it seemed to happen with no problem. She decided to start a food truck business, magically found someone selling a food truck, and overheard where she could locate a loan shark, and then proceeded to start up her own business almost without a hitch. It just seemed too convenient.

In the end, Brooklyn Girls is a new adult novel that does a wonderful job of showcasing that in-between phase, where you’re now considered an adult, and you’re forced to learn how to grow up almost overnight. The struggles that these girls go through are realistic (for the most part), and I could definitely relate to the struggles that Pia was going through. She was trying to find herself while trying to carve out a future for herself that would make her parents proud of.

View all my reviews

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