narfna’s #CBR5 Review #78: Dear Girls Above Me by Charlie McDowell

dear girlsThis was a fun read, but I had some issues with it.

Charlie McDowell* started the popular Dear Girls Above Me Twitter feed on a whim, and he got a book deal out of it. Twitter-to-Book deals always seem sketchy to me, but this one had gotten pretty good reviews, so I picked it up from the library. Like I said, it was fun, but as this is a supposed novelization of the feed, it doesn’t even have the virtue of really being about McDowell’s life, and in parts it seems like he really had to stretch it to make his ‘character’ have a believable arc, so the book wouldn’t entirely read like it was a commercial ploy to exploit these two girls even further.

*He’s the son of Mary Steenburgen and Malcolm McDowell, and to his credit, this isn’t something he highlights in the book, except for the horrifying story of the time he caught one of his friends, er, jerking his sausage, to a blurry sex scene his mother had done in a film before he was even born.

Make no mistake, the things the girls say are ridiculous and hilarious, but shoehorning ‘Charlie’ in there as well just felt forced. The book ends with ‘Charlie’ supposedly having learned something from his interaction with the girls, but I’m sort of at a loss to figure out what that something is. If you just want something funny, you’ll probably love this, though. And the ending was pretty great — I laughed out loud in the coffee shop where I was reading. I won’t spoil it too much, but I will tell you that it involved mice, a broken sewage pipe, and the girls not following directions.

If you’re looking for a quick read you could do worse than this, but don’t go in expecting anything deep.

Jen K’s #CBR5 Review #76: Dear Girls Above Me by Charles McDowell

I first heard of this novel thanks to a fellow Cannonballer’s review, so when I saw it at the bookstore I figured it would be perfect for the plane ride I had coming up (little did I know at the time that my plane ride would take an extra 24 hours due to delays; this book barely lasted through the first airport but that’s why my carry on was basically a bag of books). I have to agree with Lisa Bee – it was a very fun book, and I definitely recommend getting it for an amusing afternoon. The great thing is that even when Charlie, the character, is being condescending about the two women that live above him, the reader realizes that Charlie himself is kind of ridiculous as well and in some cases his mockery directed at the women really just points out his own personal issues.

Full review.