Publisher: St. Martin's Press / Quercus
Released: July 2nd, 2013
Jobless. Clueless. Topless on Facebook. Welcome to New York City. Pia Keller is not living the dream. Unemployed, unemployable and broke, post-Uni life in a Brooklyn townhouse with her four best friends suddenly isn't so easy. And that's before heartbreaks, hipsters, all-nighters, one-nighters, food trucks, screw-ups, loan sharks and jail-time make things a whole lot more complicated... Who knew adulthood would be so damn grown-up?
I wanted to read Brooklyn Girls because I'd previously read Gemma's adult novel, A Girl Like You, which I absolutely loved. Her first foray into New Adult had me excited straight away and I started reading Brooklyn Girls within an hour of getting it. It's one of those books I just had to read in one go and I think it'll appeal to a lot of readers, both of YA and NA, though some of the content is beat read if you're on the older side of young adult.
The best way I can describe Brooklyn Girls is to say that it's like mixing Girls and Gossip Girl, minus Hannah and Serena, AKA the two most annoying characters ever. It's very similar to Girls, although it was written way before the show even aired. I must say I preferred this book to the show so I hope the similarities won't hinder sales!
Brooklyn Girls is about five twenty-something girls living in - you guessed it - Brooklyn, NYC. Pia, Julia, Angie, Maddy and Coco are fresh out of college and in the first year of their working lives, except Coco who's Julia's younger sister. They're learning just how difficult it is to fit in and get ahead, earn enough money to live on, date and have a social life at the same time. It's something everyone has to go through, though doing it in NYC is obviously more expensive than other cities! What follows is a difficult, sometimes amusing bid for Pia to get a good job, earn money and not have to go and live with her parents. With the help of her friends, it's possible... right?
Rather than just be a fluffy read, Brooklyn Girls deals with a fair amount of mature themes and issues. It's an honest depiction of twenty-two-year-old girls and what they get up to behind closed doors, and doesn't censor itself when it comes to such things as one night stands and recreational drug use. These things happen in real life, and Burgess includes them in her story but doesn't necessarily paint them in a positive light. In other words: you won't read this book and then feel inclined to follow in the character's footsteps.
While I enjoyed Brooklyn Girls, some of the hipster vocabulary irritated me and felt overused. I won't write said words here as they don't all include appropriate words, so I'll just say I would have welcomed less of them. But hey, maybe that's how hip NYC youngsters talk these days?! I really wouldn't know as my only dealings with New York come from TV shows I watch religiously.
Anyone even slightly interested in the New Adult genre or any of the TV shows I mentioned earlier will find Brooklyn Girls to be a very satisfying, fun read that I'm sure will parallel a number of reader's lives. It relies less on romance and more on how these girls survive and focus on their futures, though that's not to say there isn't a hot boy or two on the scene. I hope there'll be more from Pia and Co. in the future, as I for one am all for revisiting them and their Brooklyn apartment. Who knows what the future has in store for them?!