I feel like I’m missing something.
Shopgirl is about Mirabelle, a young woman in her twenties who works the glove counter at Neiman’s in L.A. She’s bored, struggling financially, and has what seems like a drastic case of depression. Always wishing for company and for someone to hold her, she attracts the attention of a lazy guy named Jeremy and a womanizing millionaire from Seattle named Ray Porter.
I felt kind of bored with this book… I’m not sure what it is. I didn’t really care for any of the characters. I have a hard time relating to characters with depression in books – it always comes off as whiny and emo and makes me want to slap them out of their funk. And obviously I had issues with both of the men that were attracted to her.
I think another reason I was kind of bored was Steve Martin’s writing here. I really enjoyed his book The Pleasure of My Company – it was fresh and interesting and witty. But in Shopgirl, it’s almost like I could tell how aware he was of his writing style – it all sounded too clinical and distant. The blatant sexual references seemed like they were just there to kind of shock and awe. Maybe it’s just me, but I missed Steve Martin’s quirkiness and sharp wit here – the whole thing was overall kind of bland and dark. Weirdly, the only parts of the book I really liked was when Mirabelle mentioned exactly how much she could afford to spend on lunch, or parking. I have that same sense of frugalness when I’m getting my lunch at work sometimes.
Overall, I didn’t really like this one. But I will probably try another Steve Martin book because I liked the other one I read, so I feel like I need a tie-breaker.
Sarah Says: 2 stars