Discussion #1: Certain Girls

We made it through Part One ‘Everybody Knows’ of book #9, Certain Girls. Yes, a day later than expected due to time constraints (on my part!), but I thank everyone for being patient and not posting any spoilers. So? How about a few questions to start us off:

  • Do you think Joy is learning any truth about her mother in reading Big Girls Don’t Cry?
  • Is Aunt Elle helping or hurting Candace’s relationship with Joy?
  • Do you think Joy’s negative attitude and resentment of her mother are typical at that age? Is it justifiable? Or is Joy just over the top to you?
  • Does it make sense that Candace walked away from her fame in writing Big Girls Don’t Cry by turning to the StarGirl novels as J.N. Locksley?

Got any other questions or ideas you’d like to talk about? I don’t know about you, but I could go on and on with this section – what a great way to start a novel. So un-putdownable!

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7 Responses to Discussion #1: Certain Girls

  1. ginabeana says:

    1.) I def dont think Joy is learning any truths by reading her mom’s book. Maybe a lot of half-truth’s – but I’m sure the character was embellished a little bit. Some authors draw from past experiences, but then build upon it – as I think that is what Cannie did.

    2.) About Aunt Elle…hmm. That’s a tough question. I think Aunt Elle is supplementing things that Candance doesn’t provide because she’s wrapped up in keeping Joy a child and safe, etc. I think between Candance and Elle, Joy is getting a well rounded “education”.

    3.) I think Joy’s behavior is right on par with a typical 12/13 year old. It is over the top, but I think that’s all part of growing up. You forget to appreciate the things around you and I think Joy is at that point right now. If she never had a mother so caring she probably would yearn for one.

    4.) It does make sense to me that Candance retreated from the public eye after Big Girls.. maybe she felt she couldn’t pull off another best seller or maybe she just wanted her privacy. Stargirl seems like a safe bet.

  2. Becca says:

    “Do you think Joy is learning any truth about her mother
    in reading Big Girls Don’t Cry? ”

    Kind of sort of. I think that her mother told some truths, but it is a work of fiction.
    I really do not think that her mother was the way that she was portrayed in the book. It
    was a work of fiction.

    “Is Aunt Elle helping or hurting Candace’s relationship with Joy? ”

    I do not think that the Aunt is all that helpful since she has her own issues with addiction and telling the truth. I wonder how much she is playing off of Joy’s need to be accepted and loved to get something she might feel that she is missing herself? I think that Aunt Elle might be like the one that spoils the child and then sends them home and then acts like they do not know what they did wrong.

    “Do you think Joy’s negative attitude and resentment of her mother
    are typical at that age? Is it justifiable? Or is Joy just over the top to you? ”

    I, personally think that she a freaking drama queen. I don’t see any mother tolerating
    her antics for more than a few moments. I do not get her attitude. Call me old.

    “Does it make sense that Candace walked away from her fame in writing Big Girls
    Don’t Cry by turning to the StarGirl novels as J.N. Locksley? ”

    I think that when your father comes blackmailing you for $100k it makes perfect sense. He seems very creepy.

  3. 1) I find myself wishing Joy would just come out and ASK her mother about how much her novel is ‘truth in fiction’. Instead, she’s going behind her back asking family and friends, as if Candace won’t find out that Joy is sneaking around, prying into her past. Maybe she’s afraid Candace will take the book away from her? Or hold back more truths? Makes me wonder when they stopped talking to one another.

    2) In a way, I think Aunt Elle is helping Joy learn about reality and letting her experience what it’s like to reach womanhood, while Candace wants to keep her in childhood. They do make a nice balance. Joy seems like the type who might run away from home if it weren’t for Elle who is able to communicate with her. Yes, Aunt Elle’s a little out there, but Joy actually has an adult female who will talk & listen to her.

    3) Joy’s resentment and attitude toward her mother are completely typical of a 12/13 year old. It’s that time in a girl’s life when everything a parent says, does, thinks and wears has the potential of humiliating her and destroying her reputation for eternity. Drama queen is so, so right. (And my mother can attest to the fact that I was all that and more at her age!)

    4) Blackmail is the best excuse of all for going underground – and she did such a good job of it that Joy’s friends don’t even know about her new writing gig. Fame and fortune carried a price, one that she wasn’t willing to pay as a single mother. So I agree that she did the right thing at the right time.

  4. ginabeana says:

    I think the one of the main reasons why Joy won’t come out and ask her mom about the books are 1.) she was told not to read the book and 2.) exactly what Brenda mentioned above, I think Joy thinks that her mother will not truthful. I think if we put ourselves in a teenager’s shoes, Joy’s idea to ask those around her, excluding her mother makes perfect sense. Plus, Joy is already having doubts about things her mother has been tellling her so Cannie probably wouldn’t make a credible source in Joy’s eyes.

    I completely agree that Aunt Elle is a nice balance in Joy’s life. Well said, Brenda.

    Joy grandfather seems absolutely creepy! Perfect word for it, Becca.

    So what about Joy’s budding relationship with Amanda (Not so) Gross? Do you think this will be a lasting relationship? Is Amanda really using Joy? Thoughts?

  5. @Gina – I’m holding back in saying anything about the grandfather and Joy’s friend until discussion 2. Wouldn’t want to be kicked out of my own bookclub for posting spoilers!

    BTW: Jennifer Weiner and I are now friends on Facebook. 🙂

  6. Becca says:

    I am finished with part two…and how did you get to be her friend? And is she going to join us? Did you finish part 2, too? 😉

  7. @Becca – Almost there, pg 223 (ch 20). I should be done soon and will post the next discussion thread.

    I sent Jennifer Weiner a message after finding her on Facebook. She didn’t respond personally but added me to her list of 617 friends. I’ve given her the bookclub URL – so maybe if we wish really hard she’ll drop by and leave us a comment.

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