July 28, 2012

Early Review: Ten Girls to Watch by Charity Shumway

Format: ARC (NetGalley)
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
West is trying to make her way in New York City. She’s got an ex-boyfriend she can’t quite stop seeing, a writing career that’s gotten about as far as penning an online lawn care advice column, and a small hometown in Oregon that’s her last recourse if she can’t make next month’s rent.      So when Dawn lands a job tracking down the past winners of Charm magazine’s “Ten Girls to Watch” contest, she’s thrilled. Not only is she being paid to interview hundreds of fascinating women, but she’s also sharing office space with “Secret Agent Romance,” Charm’s resident dating columnist, and he just happens to be giving her butterflies. As Dawn gets to know the life stories of these former winners, she’ll discover that success, love, and friendship can be found in the most unexpected of places. And even more importantly, she’ll find that though those who have gone before us can be role models, ultimately, we each have to carve our own way.  
I love women's literature because the stories are often inspiring regardless if its fiction. I love stories that mirror my journey and sometimes I find strength in a simple phrase or word and next thing I know, it becomes an anthem of sorts. Fueling my drive to become a better version of myself, a reminder that I can be great and that I possess the tenacity to get go through any hurdle in life. TEN GIRLS TO WATCH by Charity Shumway is a good example of this, Dawn West's promise for bravery was very authentic and something that will surely resonate with a lot of readers like me. 
This year, you'll do brave things. I didn't quite know how, or what that would entail, but I said it again, a little vow: Dawn West, you will be brave.
Dawn West is an average but hardworking girl, nothing really special about her except for her drive and open mindedness. This part in Dawn's life was bumpy, she got dumped, went through a friendship break up, got dumped again via a magazine article, lost her apartment and worldly possessions in a fire, a big series of unprecedented loss doused with buckets of bitter tears. Dawn struggled and that struggle had a big splash of self-doubt and false hopes and how Dawn dealt with it was very realistic and heartfelt, she is not your conventional heroine but it's her resilience that won me over.  
Slowly, I began to feel worst of all about the fact that Elliot was what broke me down. Not my apartment building burning. Not the evisceration of my every worldly possession. A man, one I'd barely known at the end of the day. I was down here crying over him. I was down here feeling hopelessly flawed because this stranger didn't love me.
TEN GIRLS TO WATCH by CShumway is a very honest story about little girls having and fulfilling big dreams. Her heroine didn't have it easy whether it's in love, relationships or career, Dawn worked for it, risking and losing a lot of things to make way for something bigger and better in her life. I loved the sisterhood illustrated in the story, I am used to cattiness and misplaced competitiveness between the women in books that I read and I find it a breath of fresh air that here, I only found support and love. What I liked best was the message CShumway was trying to impart: happiness doesn't lie with something or someone, it is in ourselves therefore we can control it. TEN GIRLS TO WATCH was a straightforward story about a woman's journey in finding herself and realizing there is more than one way of realizing one's dream, we just have to want it enough to have it.


  1. Great review, Braine! This one seems interesting. I haven't read a women's lit book in a while. The storyline sounds really good & I'm glad you liked it. I'm thinking of adding this one to my TBR list. Maybe a bit of fresh air in a book is what I need. Thanks :)



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