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Anthropology of an American Girl, Hilary Thayer Hamann


“I was an American girl; I possessed what our culture valued most — independence and blind courage.”

I had heard good reviews about this book, and there was no waiting list for the eBook version of it, so I downloaded away and started in. And then paused, confused. This didn’t seem at all to be a work of great literature, but rather a long-winded and rambling narrative of a rather self-absorbed teen. Well, I thought to myself, this is about an American girl, and not the Pleasant Company brand either. And plodded onward. Somewhere around page two hundred eighty, I started wondering who exactly would enjoy this particular brand of teenage egotism and angst, but forced myself to finish in the hopes that it would have some sort of reward at the end. Still, by the time I got to the last page, six hundred sixteen, I was more than happy to part ways with Eveline. This novel starts out with a fairly ordinary girl growing up in the ’80s, chronicling her on-and-off best friendship with Kate, the traumas of school, her relationship with her boyfriend Jack. But after the first few hundred pages, I lost interest and drifted through the rest. I’m not quite sure who would be more likely to enjoy this novel, but I know that I only finished it because I hate to leave books unfinished.

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