The Best Review That I Missed
By Nora Zelevansky / August 15th, 2012
A picture from the window of Book Hampton in Southampton, NY taken by my friend Rachel Meis
As I’ve admitted time and time again (almost as if I have no impulse control—ahem), for the first few weeks after my book came out, I spent a psychotic amount of my time trolling the Internet for Semi-Charmed Life reviews.
Sad, but true, especially since I nodded so agreeably each time a kind friend told me not to pay attention to the reviews, as reviewers can sometimes forget that there’s a person on the other end feeling stung. Totally. I won’t even look. Until five minutes from now. When I will be huddled over my laptop, rocking and mumbling like a lunatic.
I read a lot of tweets recounting the lyrics of the 90’s song by the same name and I’m here to report that there are some very angsty people out there and some really big Third Eye Blind fans. But I also came across some great write-ups, on top of the ones I was lucky enough to anticipate in advance from ELLE, Daily Candy, Flavorpill and The Pittsburgh Post Gazette (to name a few, if I MUST!).
Honestly, I would list every amazing blog write-up here, if I could without seeming like a total … I was going to say “crazy person” but I’ve sort of already established myself as that above. And, in a way to me, they’re all amazing because you can’t possibly please everyone, but you just have to feel grateful that people are reading the book!
And then a couple days ago, I realized something: I’d missed one! There are a few major publishing trade publications, who generally review books before they come out. One is Publisher’s Weekly and they were kind enough to checkout and write-up SCL. My publisher had mentioned that Booklist, another of these trades which largely targets librarians, was reviewing the novel. Suddenly, I remembered that I’d never seen it.
I emailed my publicist at St. Martin’s Press, who sent it over right away. And it was good! And it kind of captured the book! And it was from July 1! And I was psyched! And here it is:
[***SPOILER ALERT! Gives away a lot of plot!]
Zelevansky, Nora (Author) Jul 2012. 304 p. St. Martin’s/Griffin, paperback, $14.99. (9781250001184).
Chick lit takes a trip down the rabbit hole in this first novel. Twenty-one-year-old Beatrice Bernstein, of the Upper West Side artist Bernsteins, has never left New York City. A flu-induced wish on a mohawked pigeon starts a strange journey through her senior year in college. First, her student housing is a basement apartment full of cockroaches. Then, instead of studying Latin American literature, she finds herself ghost- writing a blog about the art world for socialite Veruca Pfeffernoose. She also gets a new wardrobe, travels around the world, alienates best friend Dolly, foils a plot by thieving hipster goons, and, of course, gets the guy. One thing she does not do is figure out how to navigate Veruca’s ever-changing loft, until she starts to follow disappearing clues found in her precious moleskin notebook. Beatrice is hard not to like, smart but just naive enough to get caught up in Veruca’s fabulous world. The narration is full of giddy pop-culture references, and the story is told with a sort of gleeful cynicism that only fails at the too-neat ending.
— Susan Maguire
There’s hardly ever such thing as a perfect review, but I think, even from the midst of my book insanity haze, that you have to walk away feeling good about the overwhelming positives because otherwise you really will lose your mind.
xo – N.