Semi-Charmed Life by Nora Zelevansky
Genre: Chick-lit, Romance, Young-Adult, DNF
Published: July 3rd 2012 by St. Martin’s Griffin
In Nora Zelevansky’s hilarious debut, Semi-Charmed Life, an Upper West Side naïf, Beatrice Bernstein, gets swept up in the seemingly magical life of socialite Veruca Pfeffernoose, while ghost writing her blog. Veruca’s glitteringly opulent world soon seduces Beatrice away from her own insular, arty family with a promise of fancy parties, travel outside Manhattan (for once) and one desperately cute guy. But when her new glitzy lifestyle starts to take on dark undertones, Beatrice has to decide who she is—once and for all. With her own magical touch, Zelevansky deftly explores the world of rarified Manhattan in this sparkling modern fairy tale of first love, finding one’s voice and growing up
I was stepping out of my comfort zone in picking up another ‘Chick-Lit’ novel particularly because my experiences with them have never been very good and they are not books I like. Generally I really ABHOR ‘Chick-Lit’. However, I felt that Zelevanksy’s novel deserved a chance and it could be one to make me fall in love with a genre that I do not like. I think that feat was a little too much to expect.
I want to emphasise now this book was NOT BAD at ALL. It just really wasn’t for me. It was well-written, it contained humour, even some that I could appreciate, but ultimately I found myself thinking ‘why am I reading this?’ when Beatrice started getting involved in Veruca’s high-fashion life, I couldn’t cope with the next reference to a party or a new outfit.
The start had enthralled me, when poor Beatrice had been stuffed into a basement room under the housing association at college and there were horrible, beastly bugs and a knight in shining armour to save the bugs who Beatrice thought was coming to kill her. It was all rather amusing, sadly, this novel didn’t take a direction that would gather my personal interest.
There was an element of romance developing between Beatrice and her “knight in shining armour” although I’m not sure about the direction of the romance since I didn’t finish the book, but I think it would certainly make for an interesting read. The romance wasn’t overpowering the story-line, but in this novel, I think with me I would have read more if I had seen a stronger thread of that romance. However it is there and I think a lot of people could enjoy it.
The writing style flowed well, it was really easy to read and get into and I actually read the first 20% really quickly, but the further in I got with this novel, the more I realised it wasn’t my kind of style. I’ve been putting off writing this review for a few weeks now, thinking I’d be able to try again and get into the novel since I enjoyed the writing style, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to and I’m giving it up as a bad job.
I didn’t understand the modern “fairy tale” element, however I think this will become clearer further into the book. Don’t underestimate this book, because I think Zelevanksy could have a real gem for her debut novel here. She’s also really lovely, since she contacted me and was really friendly about everything and we discussed my lack of enjoyment for the novel and she talked about how the fashion elements was meant to be humorous and whilst I saw this it wasn’t my kind of humour. I thought it was really diplomatic and nice of her and I encourage you all to give this book a chance.
This really wasn’t my cup of tea and I think I’ll be staying far away from ‘Chick-Lit’ to stop any more good authors having me hate their books because of the genre.
More stalking available here:
Let me know what you think!