Will You Won’t You Want Me?
Author Nora Zelevansky
Narrated by Amy Landon
Published by Tantor Media
Publication date Jul 12, 2016
Running time 11 hrs
Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Marjorie Plum never meant to peak in high school. She was queen bee. Now, ten years later, she’s lost her sparkle. At her bleakest moment, she’s surprised by renewed interest from a questionable childhood crush, and the bickering with her cranky boss at a potentially game-changing new job grows increasingly to resemble flirtatious banter. Suddenly, she’s faced with a choice between the life she always dreamed of and one she never thought to imagine. With the help of a precocious eleven-year-old tutee, who unknowingly becomes the Ghost of Marjorie Past, and a musician roommate, who looks like a pixie and talks like the Dalai Lama, Marjorie struggles with the ultimate question: Who does she want to be? Nora Zelevansky’s Will You Won’t You Want Me? is a funny, often surprising novel about growing up when you are already supposed to be grown.
I feel I like I have recently been sent several books about characters in Brooklyn and NYC who are somewhere between the first flush of youth and middle age. They all appear to be floundering. My question whether is said floundering a function of Manhattan, or the bridge which covers the span between NYC and Brooklyn, Brooklyn itself, the cost of living in Manhattan or the Burroughs? Perhaps it’s the lack of oxygen due to the traffic situation?
Whatever the reason, that geographic area needs to get its shit together before more fictional characters’ lives are needlessly destroyed. It is apparently the Bermuda Triangle of thirty somethings. I guess it is possibly caused by a lot of TV shows occurring in the area and that a lot of authors and publishers hoping for a mini-series in their future.
I could see a mini-series in this author’s future as her characters and the life situations in which they find themselves land them, in my mind anyway, somewhere between “Sex and The City” and “Mozart in the Jungle.” Even the prologue which consists of a story about a character in a flip book felt like the opening of a TV show — it was an evocative start but the link to the story was weak.
It may be the over-riding theme of the main character, Marjorie, “peaking back in high school” that trigger how I feel abut WILL YOU WON’T YOU WANT ME. It may be the problem of being smart and pretty and that everyone treats Marjorie like someone who is going to succeed so much that she forgets that succeeding requires more than her yearbook photo and a B.A. Peaking too early gives you a long time to fall down the hill.
A big thing in this story is that she supposedly is overly self-involved, flailing and immoral because she does one thing as a favor and then moves on, but continues with that particular favor. I don’t see her as immoral, which either demonstrates that I’m morally challenged or that this is an overblown incident.
That Marjorie’s greatest talent stems from having watched TV and movies with her father who is a media professor is a sad commentary on the educational system. Although I do contend that having watched a lot of TV in my youth made me so brilliant that I am now blogging for the price of a book.
The relationship angles in the story really did not seem appealing to me. Marjorie is a little too old to be falling back into bed with her old High School almost-boyfriend. And it is obvious where the story will go when she meets up with the guy who seems pretty simpatico with her but also a trifle wry.
I think there’s a relevant link here to Jane Austen’s PERSUASION. Not sure but it could be that Marjorie is the Anne Elliot character. Maybe.
I enjoyed the narration and story even though I felt like it was made for TV, and there is hope for Marjorie not really having peaked in High School at all. And, if there is hope for Marjorie there is hope for all young women without direction.