by Naomi Neale

January 2005
ISBN: 0-8439-5470-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Making It
Trade Paperback

What do liberal arts grads do once they leave the ivy-covered walls of college and have to venture out into the real world? With nearly worthless diplomas and a lack of business acumen, they have to take whatever jobs are available. For Nan Cloutier, this means employment as a Cheer Facilitator for Seasonal Staffers, Inc. She is working at the Mercer-Iverson Department Store as Cindy-Lou Who, but this role will change with the seasons.

Her family despairs of her lack of “real” employment, her rackety apartment over a Polish bakery and her avoidance of grownup issues. Her friends all seem to be in similar straits, with one of her former boyfriends getting ready to marry the mistake of the century. When she encounters one of the Mercer-Iverson heirs, she cannot imagine what they might have in common, but she really wants to find out!

Calendar Girl has a lot of charm. The novel starts off with a hilarious chapter about being trapped in an undersized Who costume trying to avoid being groped by dads with Cindy-Lou fantasies. It is easy to get caught up in Suessical rhyming schemes and author Naomi Neale does a fine job of letting us catch our breath gracefully. Her writing style is conversational and crisp.

Nan’s family and friends are a diverse bunch with wildly divergent personalities. The variety gives depth to this book, and adds texture. One of my favorite subplots has to do with the "metrosexual" transformation of Nan's father and the way that Nan and her brothers investigate it.

If you want a contemporary first-person romance with a large dose of humor and a heroine who is still searching for her niche in life, check out Calendar Girl.

Reviewed in December 2004 by Paula.

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