Saturday, October 19, 2013

Review: Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr

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What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out. 

A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim, with her blog, "Pastel is the New Black," has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that "chick lit is dead" once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm. 

While Kim's day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that's turning heads--and pages--across the land. It's also popped into Kim's inbox--for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim's coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.


Book Excerpts

Blogger Girl
Chapter 1
I slid my mouse back and forth between 4 and 4.5 pink champagne flutes. I couldn’t decide if the book, Gladly Never After, was 4.5 flutes worthy. The ending was a bit abrupt and the hero was kind of obvious from the beginning. At the same time, it was certainly an engaging story, so much so that I took every available opportunity to turn on my Kindle to see what happened next, even while squatting on the toilet between beers at happy hour.
“Long!”
I saved a draft of my review and stood up. “Yes, Rob?” I walked into his large fish-bowl shaped office knowing he wasn’t going to come to me. “What’s up?”
Rob handed me two sheets of paper. “Can you scan this to Bartlett?”
Removing the papers from his hand, I said, “No problem. Should I include a message?”
He scratched his thick head of brown hair. “Nah. He’ll know what it is.”
Rob’s recent takeover of a high-profile litigation was definitely getting in the way of my blogging. I had four books scheduled for review in the next two weeks and had received several more on my Kindle from publishers and authors in the past couple of days. Then again, it was my day job as a legal secretary at a mid-sized New York City law firm that paid my $1800 rent, not my voluntary – albeit immensely more satisfying – side gig as a chick lit book reviewer/blogger.
“Also, send an email to the team about squad drinks around the corner at Banc CafĂ© at 5.”
My heart skipped a beat. “Who should I include in the email?”
Rob was now facing his computer and without bothering to turn around, he said, “The whole team, Lucy, David, Nicholas, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah.”
Rob probably didn’t actually say, “Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah” but that was all I heard after “Nicholas.” Ordinarily, I preferred the company of friends over the partners, associates and paralegals that made up Rob’s team, but I’d make an exception if Nicholas was going to be there. I took stock of my outfit, exhaling a sigh of relief that I was wearing a flattering low cut black top and form-fitting black skinny pants. I fingered my necklace, a platinum chain with an opal pendant that conveniently fell right in the line of my cleavage. “Sounds good. Uh, I forgot who else you mentioned after Nicholas.”Not that it matters.
Rob waved me away. “Just the team. The usuals. Add a sentence at the end about inviting anyone I forgot.”
“Gotcha.”
When I got back to my desk, I emailed the team about happy hour, casually adding Nicholas’ address somewhere in the middle. It was very short notice, but a) it was free drinks and b) Rob was the boss and by virtue of him being the boss, sufficient advance notice was not required. Once I confirmed that the email went through, I practically ran to the copy room to scan Rob’s documents and quickly emailed them to Bartlett. I glanced at my Movado watch, a gift from my parents for my 28th birthday earlier that year. It was 4:42.  After I grabbed my enormous leather pocketbook from the bottom drawer of my desk and told Rob I was stepping away, I headed to the bathroom and called Bridget.
She picked up after one ring. “Is everything okay?”
I ran a brush through my long light brown hair and shook my head from side to side to give it some bounce. “Why would you ask that? Because I called instead of texted?”
“Bingo!”
Bridget had been my best friend since the 7th grade. Text messaging often won out over actually talking on the phone, but it wasn’t like telephone conversations were reserved for emergency trips to the hospital or anything. I removed the pink monogrammed makeup case I’d had since junior high school from the bottom of my pocketbook. “Having drinks with the team tonight after work.”
“The team, huh? Does that include your work crush? What’s his name again?”
“Nicholas!”
Bridget snorted. “I know! Nicholas Strong,” she repeated. “Rhymes with Long. I remember.”
“Ha ha. Be nice.” Mentioning the rhyming of my last name with Nicholas’ wasn’t one of my proudest moments, but it was after two flirtinis, and two flirtinis for a 101 pound girl were like five flirtinis for an average sized woman.
“Well, have fun. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” Bridget said dryly. Gun shy after an uncharacteristic one-night-stand generously left her with a case of crabs, she hadn’t done anything with anyone in over a year.
“I’m not entirely certain he sees me as anything more than that ‘chick’ who occasionally connects him to Rob’s voicemail, but he’s serious eye candy. Chances are, we’ll exchange less than four words, I’ll end up extremely frustrated and regret going in the first place.”
“There you go, Ms. Positive! Good luck.”
“Thanks. See ya.” I hung up the phone and wiped the corners of my lips before applying a shiny but translucent gloss. I dusted a little powder over my nose trying unsuccessfully to hide the constellation of freckles that appeared at the tip. I zipped the case and returned it to my bag. I wished I knew how to apply dramatic makeup but every time I made an attempt, I looked like one of those freaky pageant kids.
When I returned to my desk, I noticed that Rob’s light was off. It was only 5:05. Someone needed a beer.
I opened my saved post to finish my review.
In closing, I would highly recommend Gladly Never After to all lovers of chick lit, particularly those who prefer books with more action/dialogue and less description/backstory.
Rating: 4.5 Champagne Flutes
I set my blog to post the review at 6 the next morning and logged off of my computer. At least I’d be fashionably late.
****
I spotted my crew immediately upon entering the dimly lit restaurant. They had taken over the left side of the semi-circular bar. I stood up as tall as my 4’’11’ frame allowed and approached the crowd. Although my eyes looked straight ahead towards Rob, always the center of attention at these events, I used my peripheral vision to confirm that Nicholas was in attendance. He was talking to Lucy, a junior associate in the group. Lucy was actually really nice, but her straight blonde hair was always pulled back into a tight bun and her daily attire consisted of stodgy business suits. She looked like a librarian and I couldn’t imagine Nicholas being interested in her as more than a colleague. On second thought, maybe Lucy is one of those stereotypical librarian types who’s kinky in the sack. I had often wondered if Nicholas had hooked up with any of the female associates in the office while pulling an all-nighter or after one of the many firm-hosted parties. As I glanced back at Lucy in jealous paranoia, I was surprised to catch Nicholas looking directly at me. Could he tell I was thinking about him? Bridget and I always said guys had radar.
“There she is. My right hand. What are you having?” Rob asked.
I tore my eyes away from Nicholas and focused my attention on Rob. “A glass of prosecco. Thanks.” I considered asking for a cocktail menu but wanted a drink in my hand too badly to spend the time considering my choices.
Rob raised one of his thick dark eyebrows and took a sip of his lager. “Beer isn’t good enough for you?”
“Not when the firm is paying.” I giggled.
Rob handed me my glass and I casually looked around. I caught Nicholas’ eye again and prepared this time, gave him a friendly wave.
“Hey you,” he said, smiling wide as his brown eyes darted down to my chest and quickly back to my face.
His appraisal of my rack, while subtle, was unmistakable. Not that a guy checking out a girl’s chest was an indication of actual interest. It was probably merely instinct for them, but I was still thrilled. I would be the first to admit that I drew attention to my chest since, being so short, I needed to give people a reason to look down far enough to see me. I raised my glass and smiled back. “Hey,” I said before turning back towards Rob. I wanted more than anything to go over and cock block his conversation with Lucy but I didn’t have the nerve. Checking out a girl’s cleavage was not necessarily an invitation for conversation.
“Did you send that email to Bartlett?” Rob asked.
Without batting an eyelash, I responded, “Did you ask me to?”
Rob offered a bemused smile. “TouchĂ©. I thought you might be too busy working on your blog to attend to such menial tasks like getting your work done.”
“When has my blog ever gotten in the way of attending to your business, Rob?” Rob loved to give me shit about my blog, but I knew he was joking. I had only worked with him at our current firm for four months, but had been his assistant at his previous one for close to two years. He had left our old firm more than six months earlier, leaving me behind with a promise to use his influence to get me hired as well. We worked well together. Although in his mid-fifties, Rob had the energy of a teenager and was extremely high-strung. I knew how to take him down a notch without threatening his authority.
“What blog?”
I felt a flush creep across my cheeks as I turned around to face the source of the question. I wasn’t surprised, since I blushed whenever I talked to Nicholas, even when the phone rang at work and I saw his name on my caller ID.
“You didn’t know about Kim’s blog?” Rob asked, his blue eyes reflecting amusement.
Nicholas shook his head, not removing his eyes from mine.
All I could think about was running my fingers along the dark stubble on his jawline. Never completely clean shaven, he currently looked like he hadn’t touched a razor in several days. I held his gaze willing my voice not to give away my crush, but the heat on my face suggested a crimson complexion that probably already had. “I have a blog where I write book reviews.” I figured Nicholas didn’t know about my blog since our opportunities to socialize outside of work had been few and far between in the four months we’d worked together. It was that unfamiliarity which I blamed for my chronic bashfulness in his presence. Well, that and his overwhelming sex appeal. Unable to maintain eye contact a second longer, I glanced back at Rob hoping he’d pick up the dialogue.
“It’s incredibly popular. Publishers actually beg my secretary to read and review their client’s novels on a daily basis.” Rob beamed at me like a proud uncle as if he was somehow responsible for my blog’s immense popularity.
I turned back to Nicholas and smiled shyly. “Every other day basis is probably more accurate but yes, it’s a widely read blog. I have several thousand followers and get requests from authors, publicists and agents pretty often.”
Nicholas looked at me with admiration. “Awesome. What types of books do you review?”
I hated this part of telling people from work about my blog. I never knew if the attorneys would raise their noses in the air and judge my taste in “literature.” Here goes nothing. “Chick lit,” I admitted.
Nicholas tilted his head to the side. “Like the gum?”
I giggled as if I’d never heard that one before. “Yes, it’s called chick lit, like the gum. But it’s also a book genre. Like Bridget Jones’s Diary,The Devil Wears Prada. You know?”
Nicholas looked thoughtful as he rubbed his thumb along his chin. “My ex-girlfriend had a bunch of books with pink covers. Were those chick lit?”
Forcing myself to stay focused instead of wondering what his ex-girlfriend was like, how long ago they broke up and why, I smiled and said, “Probably.” Although chick lit had certainly evolved beyond stereotypical pink covers, it wasn’t the time to go into defense-mode.
Nicholas smiled wide. “Very cool, Kim!” Glancing at his empty glass, he said, “Time for a refill. Be right back” and walked towards the bar.
I tore my eyes away from the back of Nicholas’ light blue business shirt and back to Rob. But Rob was now talking to Lucy about some guy she had deposed the previous day. Boring work talk. I downed the rest of my prosecco and walked over to the bar. After quickly getting the bartender’s attention, I ordered another glass, on Rob’s tab of course, and observed Nicholas finish sending a text. As he smiled into his phone, I felt my Hanky Panky thong practically melting off. At only about 5”7’, his stature might have kept him off of some women’s top five lists but since I was vertically challenged too, he was currently number one on mine. I couldn’t even think of who would follow him in second and third place.


Meredith Schorr

About Meredith

A born and bred New Yorker, Meredith Schorr discovered her passion for writing when she began to enjoy drafting work-related emails way more than she was probably supposed to, and was famous among her friends for writing witty birthday cards. After trying her hand writing children’s stories and blogging her personal experiences, Meredith found her calling writing “real” chick lit for real women.  When Meredith is not hard at work on her current work in progress, she spends her days as a trademark paralegal. Meredith is a loyal New York Yankees fan and an avid runner. Blogger Girl is her third novel.  check her out @ http://meredithschorr.com


This was just what I needed!!!!  Schorr writes characters that are those you can relate to, no mater if they are the lead or a secondary character...they are all great!  They are lovable with unique perspectives, which is so refreshing to read!  Schorr knows how to write an engaging story, that is not only hard to put down, but it is quality too!  4.5 stars!

BUY THE BOOKS!!!!






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