Book Review: Will You Won’t You Want Me by Nora Zelevanksky

Remember the popular girl in high school, the one who had everything – all of the friends, all of the boys, all of the looks, all of the smarts? Remember the envy and the little bit of hate harbored in your heart? Ever wonder what happened to her? Presenting the tale of Marjorie Plum, high school superstar – and adult failure.

There’s a little bit of Schadenfreude for us unpopular teens as we watch Marjorie lose everything – her job (which was an utter nightmare, anyway), her best friend has ditched her for a sleazy boyfriend who tries to hit on Marjorie, and her home. An utter failure, and unsure of who she is anymore takes comfort at her parents house and in the arms of her high school bad boy crush.

Fate appears to smile on Marjorie when she finds Fred, a modern hippie drummer in an oft-named-changed rock band. Life is never dull in Fred’s world, and Marjorie soon meets Belinda, a precocious 11-year-old with two quarreling moms, and Gus, a buttoned up stuffed shirt type that somehow intrigues Marjorie anyway.

However, this is ultimately a book about the meaning of failure and rediscovering yourself, Marjorie has more bumps in life’s road to navigate before she comes to discover that who you are is not how others define you, but how you define yourself and your own needs and desires. The characterizations are spot on, and Fred, Belinda and Gus are especially delightful. There is a great deal of pain in the novel, as that is a large part of growth, but watching old friendships die or fade away is particularly hard, in the book as in life.

Will You Won’t You Want Me is “chick-lit” as its’ best as it delves into what it is that makes a woman who she truly is, and what genuine love looks like.

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