Semi-Charmed Life - Nora Zelevansky

Released July 2012

Nora Zelevansky
St. Martins Griffin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Honestly, I'm still not sure what to make of Semi-Charmed Life. It's not that it's a bad book, I actually found it quite enjoyable in the latter half of the book, but there in lies the problem, it took forever to finally like the main character.

Beatrice Bernstein's over her illness and ready to get back to college life, only she never expects her college apartment to be a rat infested basement cesspool of a place. When socialite Veruca Pfeffernoose (obviously a play on Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) asks Beatrice to move in and ghostwrite her blog, Beatrice is overjoyed to be living the life of Riley. Little does Beatrice know that there is more to Veruca and her band of followers than meets the eye. When reality starts to come through, Beatrice must decide who her friends truly are.

For the first number of chapters, I have to say I wasn't thrilled with Beatrice.While she's handed a raw deal, especially when it comes to the apartment, I know people who deal with so much worse so it's hard to pity her. I've run into this issue with other books involving Manhattanites though, so I think it's just that their lifestyle is so much different to that of mine or my friends that it's hard to connect. This surprised me when so many others I've talked to said it was their pick for Book of the Year so far.

Semi-Charmed Life does have impressive prose full of wit and a dose of sarcasm from time to time. That I liked. Plus, when Beatrice finally realizes the truth about her new friends, I really started to like her. It's a shame it took me that long, but from that point on, I was rooting for her and hoped others would get their just deserts.


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