I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Will You Won't You Want Me? by Nora Zelevansky
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on April 19, 2016
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Marjorie Plum isn't your average washed up prom queen. After all, her New York City prep school had no royal court. Yet, ten years after high school graduation, she is stuck in the past and aching for that metaphorical tiara.
When her life takes an unexpected turn, she is forced to start over, moving into a tiny box of an apartment in Brooklyn with a musician roommate who looks like a pixie and talks like the Dalai Lama. Desperate to pay rent, she starts tutoring a precocious 11-year-old girl, who becomes the unknowing Ghost of Marjorie Past. So begins a bumpy journey to adulthood, during which she learns about herself from the most unlikely sources: a rekindled childhood love, a grumpy (but strangely intriguing) new boss, even her tutee.
In Nora Zelevansky's charming second novel, Will You Won't You Want Me?, Marjorie soon realizes only she can decide: who is the real Marjorie Plum?
I was intrigued by the synopsis of Will You Won’t You Want Me?, then I saw post where they DNF it and then I grew worried. If they thought it was bad enough to stop reading it before the end, what was I getting into? Then I started reading it and my concern grew. Marjorie was pretty awful and so were her friends. Judgmental and still trying to live within their high school social circles, they made me dislike them. But then the story arc changed and the attitudes and superiority slowly melted away. I am happy to report that after the first few chapters the story became engrossing and I began to cheer for Marjorie. A former queen bee who has fallen from grace Marjorie Plum longs for the days when she ruled the school. Now ten-years past graduation she has a dead-end job and no romance prospects on the future. When her life goes from sad to desperate, Marjorie will need to re-examine her priorities and herself.
The plot of Will You Won’t You Want Me? was cute, and while not super unique, had enough elements that worked that I could overlook the clichés. Nora Zelevansky’s writing was great. It is a hard task to make a character unlikeable, then slowly morph them to likeable within the scope of a story and she accomplished it well. The pacing had a few bumps with some sections moving quickly then an abrupt change. The world Zelevansky created was for the most part well structured but a few areas were very NYC and as someone not familiar with the areas it was hard to picture. The emotions were also half and half. I think in crafting a character that you initially dislike then moving them on a different path your emotional tie may not kick in quickly. The characters were also a mix. In the beginning I liked no one, half way through I like about 60% and by then end I liked about 80% of the players.
Nora Zelevansky’s Will You Won’t You Want Me? was an interesting read. I was initially turned off by the characters and their attitudes, but then I was pulled into a journey of change and happily followed along. This is a quick read that mostly floated on the surface of emotions but was still worth the time. I think Zelevansky has talent and I will be interested to see what she does in the future.
Favorite lines – “Because I coasted. I did nothing to deserve the attention. But the joke was on me because it was fleeting, worthless. I kept waiting for something to make me feel special again, but I never did anything but mope. I thought maybe I had become less fabulous, but really people moved on because that’s what they do. I stayed in that horrible job, with a boss who literally threw things at me, because it never occurred to me that satisfaction isn’t about validation. You could wait a lifetime for that. I know. I waited a decade.”
Biggest cliché – But I was so popular!
Have you read Will You Won’t You Want Me?, or added it to your TBR?
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 New Release Challenge
- Mount TBR Reading Challenge
- Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
- The Goodreads Challenge