Another February’s Book: The Girls’ Guide to Hunting & Fishing

After done reading Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 8 days, I continue to my next book that I was planning to read along March – so that I can make it March’s book review as well. It was kinda strange how I found this book and bought it. After I grab Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I made my round to the next shelf to find another book, then I stepped on something and there’s this book lay on the floor, fell from the top shelf. I bent down and picked it up,  A New York Times Bestseller written on the cover and the title – of course – sounded more like a self-help book than a novel. I read the synopsis and reviews on the back, and threw it to my shopping bag thinking “o well, beach-book and it has bestseller written on it, seem light”

Like I told you, I was planning to make it the book of March. But soon as I start it, it was so hard to stop reading, took me only 5 days to read from cover to cover. The novel is a compilation of short stories, chronicle of a young woman that searching for love named Jane Rosenal. To my surprise the book started with one of my life time favorite poem “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop! That’s promising I thought! Then Melissa begun it neatly with how’s Jane feel and view about a romantic relationship when she’s just a 14 yo teen, she started with observing her brother Henry’s relation with his older girlfriend (1st story).  Then continue to Jane “seemed” like first serious relationship with a man named Jamie and they’re invited to Jamie’s ex-girlfriend house at Caribbean. Then the story goes on with Jane moving to Manhattan with her auntie, and she found her new job then start a relationship with a man that way older than her (almost twice her age in fact), and ended by she found her “right” man.

Melissa Banks

Melissa’s writing style impressed me in a way that it’s structural, explorative and details. This book is filled with entertaining yet humorous lines that makes you smile and laugh whilst flipping the pages. Jane’s feelings are so well explained in the conversation between characters and the self-reflective assessment inside Jane’s head, things that we – girls – feel and reflect every now and then. But not only about love, the book highlighted by other type of relationships too: like Jane’s relationship with her Dad even from the first chapter, then how she feel about his sickness,  her dependent to her brother’s scrutiny on her life, and her relationship with her domineering boss and how she struggle to let it go.

I feel a peculiar connection with Jane. It’s personal, but I think we have a lot in common; we tend to overanalyzed things especially about our feeling. We’re so moody, we’re holding back sometimes, just to make sure it’s the right move, we tend to fall in love with the wrong men to ‘fix” them, we’re trying to follow the rules which make us more frustrated than the way we feel before. But there’s a chapter that I don’t really keen of, where I think the satire wears thin at some point and Melissa did it too much, the one with title “You Could Be the one” – about a girl who got cancer, but I don’t know maybe it’s the Indonesian translations that give me a light headache when I try to understand it.  Thou the ending is too sweet for me and give an impression that this book meant to make adolescent girls leave with feeling happy in the end, I’m glad that Jane found her prince charming in age that not really young J  — and of course after she tried to follow the “Hunting & Fishing rules”.

This chick-lit is different from it’s genre, I’m glad Melissa don’t mention any brands like others chicklits does. It kinda makes me sick, and already copycats by too many Indonesian chick-lit writers. If you happen to have spare time and thinking of a light reading, I would suggest you this book, I mean mostly for female.


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