Picks and Pans Review: Citizen Girl

UPDATED 11/15/2004 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/15/2004 at 01:00 AM EST

FICTION

by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

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Known to readers only as "Girl," the idealistic narrator of this follow-up to the 2002 bestseller The Nanny Diaries has landed her first job—at a feminist nonprofit where she's forced to file when what she really wants to do is change the world. With a few well-observed details, the authors communicate her righteous indignation—capturing that Kinko's-centric phase when you're sure everyone around you is an idiot for not seeing that you're a genius. Girl does get a break when Guy (yes, that's his name) hires her to bring feminist cred to his cosmetics company, but she continues to be miserable. Not in a funny, self-deprecating Bridget-Jonesy way, which would make it easy to listen to her going on about her banal troubles all day—instead, she's more like a character you'd want to escape if you met her at a party. Even if you agree with Girl's "life is unfair" rants, you'll probably find them—and this novel—somewhat tiresome.

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