Sunday, November 19, 2006

32AA, Michelle Cunnah

Isn't that just the cutest front cover you've ever seen? I mean, even my kids love it! Of course, trying to explain to my 6yo daughter why Michelle Cunnah put a bra on her book was interesting. Still though, all pink and pretty lace, with that little tag, it's just too perfect.

And why am I reviewing another Michelle Cunnah book, when the last review I did was also a Michelle Cunnah book? Well, I'll tell ya - because I can't get enough of her stuff. Since meeting her in Jersey, I just have the teeniest lil' fan girl crush on her, ok? The fact that she writes books that I just suck up like a Venti Mocha Chip Frappucino is an extra bonus.

I'm not going to talk about the BCC, for two reasons. First, that's Cherry Tea's thing, and the fact that she now has me reading the damn things is pretty funny. Second, she's right, they're hardly ever accurate. However, I can't fault the author for this, because they very rarely write their own BCC. So I'm not even going to mention that the BCC for this book does not do it justice. Again, if you read this BCC and you think, "Uh-huh. No way. Too light for me" then you are missing out.

Emmeline (Emma) Taylor has some definite ideas about what she wants for her 30th birthday. She wants a promotion at work, and she wants her live-in boyfriend (who also happens to be her boss) to propose. Instead, her promotion goes to someone else and her boyfriend goes out of town with someone else. She's left with an interesting collection of birthday gifts from her equally interesting collection of friends.

Emma tries to get over both of her disappointments, while also dealing with having to find a place to live, being a sympathetic ear to most of her friends, and coming to terms with her lack of, umm, well, cleavage. Being the 32AA daughter of a famous Manhattan plastic surgeon isn't always fun, especially when people can be so mean. Reading this, I have a brand new respect for people that are not so well-endowed. I never really thought about what it would be like to be not-so-well-endowed, but what Emma deals with is quite eye-opening. People actually make comments to her about her breast size. Can you imagine?

One of the things that I appreciated about Emma was that she was constantly battling her weight, by trying to gain more. Yes, I said gain. She's thin, and she thinks she should gain a few pounds. However, instead of just spooning in the Ben&Jerry's, she heads to the gym. It was actually refreshing to see a character make a plan to change something that she didn't like, a plan that did NOT include a visit to a surgeon, and stick to that plan. When she notices her newly toned arms, I actually cheer for her. Also, Emma is ok with her looks, regardless of her small bra size. She buys clothes that show off what she has, and she appreciates the way she looks in those clothes. It's nice that when she walks out the door of her place, she generally thinks "This is a good look for me", because she knows what works for her, yet she doesn't seem vain at all. I can't tell you how much I really, really, liked this.

This book was so much more than Donna Karan suits, Manolo Blahnik's, and Dolce & Gabbana bags. It delved into friendship, and why we pick the people that are our friends. It explored how society's expectations of physical beauty can be difficult to overcome. It tackled how hard it is to trust someone after you've been hurt. Though it's billed as chick-lit (and you know that I know that there is not a thing wrong with 'chick-lit'), really, it's so much more.

When I turned that last page, all I could think was "Damn. It's over already?" But in a good way. It was an enjoyable, fulfilling read. I laughed, I re-examined, I sniffled, and again, I remembered Michelle Cunnah sitting on a bench outside a hotel in Jersey. And if I could go back to that weekend when I met Michelle and do one thing, I'd hand her a t-shirt that said "I wrote a FABULOUS book, with a bra on the cover", ask her to put the t-shirt on, then I'd tell her "That's a really great look for you".

Because I know it would be.

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