Sunday, September 10, 2006

Breakup Babe

I recently read Breakup Babe: The Novel by Rebecca Agiewich and I quite enjoyed it. The book is structured as a series of blog posts interspersed with the author's behind-the-scenes reflections. These reflections include her feelings about blogging, writing in general and other parts of her life that are too sensitive to post on the web for the world to read.

Other bloggers may read the book and feel as I did, that it reflects their own feelings about blogging. How, even when you have a tiny readership, as soon as the comments come, you feel obligated to keep telling your stories. Rachel, the heroine, has stronger relationships with her friends than her readers, but she has the same dread of negative comments as I do. The blogging theme resonated so strongly for me that I'm not at all sure how non-bloggers will find the book. Maybe it would provide insight to those who don't understand why people write personal blogs—or why we continue to do so after our privacy is compromised.

The plot of the novel is entertaining and is launched by a breakup (surprised?). Rachel is devastated and angry and uses the blog to vent her frustrations. It helps but, ultimately, harms her. There is a great payoff involving every blogger's worst fear (I won't give it away) and it's well done and entertaining.

I found myself wondering where the line was between the author's real life and the novel. Since it is based on a nonfiction blog, I kept wondering where and how the author fictionalized. This was something of a distraction from the story, but I suspect other readers may have the same questions.

I wasn't sure what kind of ending I was hoping for. Did I want Rachel to find a boyfriend or learn to be happily single? Ending with a boyfriend would have satisfied my wish fulfillment, but the happily alone outcome might be more truthful. I was quite pleased with the author's decision. I believed the ending—it wasn't pat—and it was satisfying.

Overall, the book is a quick, fun read in need of a little editing. I'm impressed, though, with the author's efforts. I would be lucky to do half as well.

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