Picks and Pans Review: Certain Girls

UPDATED 04/14/2008 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/14/2008 at 01:00 AM EDT

by Jennifer Weiner |

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REVIEWED BY CLARISSA CRUZ

FICTION

The continuation of Weiner's 2001 bestseller Good in Bed, Girls catches up with plus-size Cannie Shapiro 13 years after Bed left off (with Cannie raising baby Joy with new husband Peter after her debut novel hits big). The now-teenage Joy is beautiful, headstrong and resentful of her unpolished, still-zaftig mom—especially after she happens upon the racy semiautobiographical novel that made Mom's name. Burned by her brief brush with fame, Cannie has spent the years hiding out, ghostwriting sci-fi novels and devoting herself to her family. The two narrate alternating chapters, Joy trying to determine how much of her mother's book was fiction, while Cannie and Peter contemplate having another child via surrogate. Weiner displays her signature wry voice and sap-free knack for capturing heartfelt moments; an unexpected plot twist gives her story emotional heft. Fans should find Girls a worthy successor.

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