Review: Citizen Girl

Citizen GirlCitizen Girl by Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve read other reviews that were unforgiving about the way that this particular novel was written, and while some have their points, others seem to miss the charm and wit of the book. Yes, there are issues, but have we ever truly seen a perfect book? This book has some good qualities in it, but it also shows us that we need to really examine our society and our way of life.

The character names were commonly used to critique the book because they were completely generic, but the point of having names like Guy, Girl, Buster, etc. is to put the reader into a position of role-playing. The reader takes on the guise of the character and starts imagining this world on his or her own. It is quite an innovative technique. It also makes you not only empathize with the characters, but it makes you question their choices easier. Their moral downfalls become yours.

The writing was choppy, and that was heavily disappointing. Toward the end, almost everything seemed to be disjointed. I don’t know if that was from lack of skill or if it was the writers trying to have the reader feel that the world was unraveling around them. I think it was probably the former.

It is definitely a chick-lit novel that brings up some very tough issues, including feminism, sex trafficking/slavery, and glass ceilings. It also shows that anyone can basically become a hypocrite and sacrifice their own moral ideals just to make money and keep their job. That is a telling thing about our society, so I think that the writers putting that in a novel like this is a very gutsy thing for them to do. I’m glad that they show that the main character learns from her misdeeds, but I worry that maybe her character learned too late. You would think that someone who considers herself to be of such learned and charitable stock would be able to realize before the last chapter that what she’s doing is so far away from being the good little feminist that she makes herself out to be. I guess that she’s supposed to be as clueless about her hypocrisy as those people that she so willingly judges.

The book could have been better written. I wish that it were better written, honestly. Maybe if the writers had better understood what they were aiming for or how to approach the topic, it would have been better. Since it isn’t, I can just say that it is a fairly good book. And considering that it is just chick lit, I’m letting some of its issues slide and cutting the writers some slack for their mistakes.

View all my reviews

About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.