Review: Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess

Pub. Date: July 2nd, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
320 pages

Brooklyn Girls features a quirky cast of five twenty something’s – Pia, Julia, Coco, Madeleine and Angie - who take a lot of missteps, trying to figure life out. Having just moved into Rookhaven, an old brownstone, Pia wakes up after a housewarming party with a massive hangover, Madeleine’s brother in her bed, and pictures of her flashing partygoers on Facebook. She is promptly fired from her new PR job and cut off by her parents. After a single hilarious night as a waitress, and a few chance encounters, Pia comes up with an idea for a food truck. Borrowing $10,000 from a loan shark to buy the truck, and using her roommates as resources to plan a menu, Pia sets out at record speed to make a profit to pay the loan shark back. Chaos inevitably ensues.

Brooklyn Girls is a very character centered novel that epitomizes how your 20s are the time to take chances, get out of your comfort zone, and learn to live for yourself.  Pia, initially, is truly unlikeable.
She has everything handed to her on a silver platter and takes it all for granted. But, the more she learns about herself, and the more mistakes she makes personally and professionally, the more likeable she becomes. From the beginning the secondary characters make up for Pia’s un-likeableness with unique struggles, which I’m sure readers will relate to far more than Pia. My favorite relationship is between Pia, Vic and Marie, Rookhaven’s downstairs neighbors. They show the Rookhaven girls a kind of familial, supportive relationship that Pia in particular desperately needs.

In a novel filled with humor and quirkiness, there’s a surprising amount of real emotion. I didn’t necessarily relate to the alcohol fueled, casual sex and hard drug use nights that most of the girls participate in, and my one real complaint about the novel is the lack of culpability for these nights (especially the hard drug use) beyond “whoopsy”, but I loved the food talk, the budding relationship between Pia and a mystery Brit, and the supportive relationships built between the girls. Brooklyn Girls is sure to be a crowd pleaser – the characters draws you right in, and readers will have no problem relating to at least one of the girls situations. Comparisons can easily be drawn between Brooklyn Girls and the quirkiness of New Girl, combined with the oversharing nature of Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. Considering how much I liked the secondary characters (especially Coco!), and the amount of storylines that are left open, I am definitely looking forward to what’s next as Angie takes over the narration for the second novel.

Rating 6.5/10 – Really like the majority of the novel, but I had a problem with the lighthearted treatment of more serious extracurricular activities.

** I received a copy of this novel from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was in no way compensated. 

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