Cover to Cover is the book review for the busy student. She takes the time to let you know if a book is really worth yours. You’ll get an average time it takes to get through the book, and whether or not you should invest those precious reading week hours, actually reading.
I’m sorry, guys. I tried my best. I used all the powers in my Northwestern educated arsenal, but I still could not dislike this book. Sure, it sounds like a four year old wrote it. Yeah, the character development is hazy at best. Ok, it reads like a poorly realized romance novel. But, come on! Snooki wrote it! This probably speaks more to my own taste (and the fact that I’ve been spending all my extra time in a math textbook) than the actual quality of Snooki’s, ahem, writing, but I couldn’t help enjoying this book (at least for the most part).
The plot follows cousins, Gia and Bella, as they run around Seaside Heights pursuing the “three D’s,” “drinking, dancing, and Duh.” They get in fights, fall in love, work out, rocket to internet stardom (hmmm… are we seeing any parallels?) and destroy the same apartment building at least three times. Somewhere along the way poop becomes a very integral part of the storyline. Essentially, it’s Jersey Shore on crack.
Gia becomes the stand in for Snooki. Lovable, ditzy and weirdly infuriating, she coasts through life and is constantly on the hunt for her next “guido juicehead gorilla.” Even Gia’s back story parallels Snooki’s own, including a high school eating disorder and a brief stint at community college to become a veterinarian. Just as on Jersey Shore itself, her character is the best part of this book and reading lines out loud (to the confused annoyance of passers-by) like “Hello, did he speak American?” in Snooki’s thick Jersey accent became the best part of my week.
Perhaps I have been taking too many gender studies classes, but A Shore Thing even began taking on sociological value. The book frequently criticizes women for not respecting themselves, and frames Bella’s near-date-rape as her fault for not knowing better, reinforcing the hegemonic gender values of chastity and prudence. (booyah, Sociology 216!) Yet, Snooki contradicts this by applauding the main characters for their own hard partying and ability to get men. A comment on modern feminism? I think so.
Despite my inexplicable love for guidoisms, after about the 100th page A Shore Thing seems to jump the shark. The book becomes too self-referential (Gia eats “a crazy something called a Snooki Sandwich”), and the plot becomes too nonsensical (paint guns and revenge tans I think?). Even I can only hear about people “beating up the beat” with hot guidos for so long. The book remains funny, but, once you become acclimated to the language and ridiculousness, it all becomes a bit repetitive. The more I read, the more I began to realize that A Shore Thing is actually no better than your average dime store romance novel. And, if it weren’t for the frequent lines like “Gia danced around a little, shaking her peaches for show” I would have been counting down the pages till it was over.
Snooki may make for great TV, but that doesn’t mean she should get a book deal. And, while I found her amusing, most sane human beings probably won’t.
Time taken: 5 hours
Worth it? Even though I want to say yes, you’re better off watching season one again.