Gravity vs. the Girl by Riley Noehren
Samantha Green has just spent an entire year in her pajamas, and she is beginning to regret it. What’s more, she is haunted by four ghosts that are former versions of herself. First up is the overachieving and materialistic attorney, who is furious with Samantha for throwing away the career she worked so hard to build. Second is the lackadaisical college student who is high on life but low on responsibility. Next is the melodramatic teenager, who is consumed with her social standing, teal eyeliner and teased bangs. Finally, there is the scrappy six-year old, whose only objective is to overcome gravity so that she can fly. Samantha’s ghosts alternate between fighting with each other, rallying around Samantha’s budding sanity and falling in love with a string of good-for-nothing drummers. Despite her reluctance to do so, Samantha must rely on these spirits from the past to repair the present and ensure her future.
Inbetween Sundays, one of the weekly podcasts I subscribe to, has this little fun little segment called Chick Flick or Horror Movie, where one of the hosts would say the title of a movie and its synopsis, and the other would have to guess if it’s a horror movie or a chick flick. Easy enough? Not for the hosts, both male, which is part of the fun: I find it hilarious to hear them think that Britney Spears’ first movie Crossroads is a horror movie. The thing that struck me about the game is the fact that there are few grey areas, since genres in Hollywood seem to be mutually exclusive. Most commercial movies are typically classified only under one specific genre: a comedy movie may be able to teach life lessons and bring some tears to but it won’t be classified as a drama, just like a horror movie cannot be a romantic comedy.
Books, however, are a different story. In literature more so than in cinema, genres evolve as more and more books are written and published. Nowadays, many books are a mixture of two or more genres. Of course, it’s not always easy to classify books into their respective mixed genres, especially if you’re rather broad and loose with classifications, as I am: I only really divide books into two genres, fantasy and non-fantasy. Anything that falls out of the ordinary is fantasy for me.
Which brings me to my conundrum with Riley Noehren’s Gravity vs. the Girl. This Whitney Award winner for Best Novel by a New Author in 2009 reads like standard non-fantasy chick lit right from the opening pages…click here to read the rest of the review.
2010 Challenge Status:
* Book # 37 out of 100 for 2010