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Behaving Like Adults: 03/02/07

Behaving Like Adults

I picked up Behaving Like Adults at the July BookCrossing meeting. Until recently I had shunned "chick lit" but I also don't believe in completely ignoring a genre because of personal prejudice. I chose to read this book for two conflicting reasons that in themselves sum up the book beautifully: the sleek cover art and because of the "tougher issues" addressed in the book.

The book for the most part is a typical chick lit: a thirty year old successful woman in a glamorous job tosses aside her long time boyfriend/fiance for her own shallow insecurities. Having given him the heave-ho she realizes that there are men worse than hers and this realization nearly destroys her business, friendships and self esteem. In the end those around her conspire to get her back on her feet and together with her one true (albeit not perfect) love. Had the book only been about that plot I would have tossed it aside.

Instead Maxted tosses at her shallow and self absorbed protagonist a variety of issues: rape, law suits, unwanted pregnancy, clinical depression, and adoption among others. For all of this crap that Holly is faced with I wish I could say that she follows the title of the book and behaves like an adult. But she doesn't. She repeatedly makes things worse for herself by hiding from the unpleasantries of her life. While at times these scenes are poignant and understandable, after awhile I had to side with Holly's friends and coworkers at their frustration with her behavior.

So why did I keep reading it? I read it for Nick, Holly's much maligned boyfriend and sometimes fiance. The only thing I could figure out is why he kept taking her back but people are stupid about love in real life so I can't quibble. Nick for all of Holly's bitching and moaning is actually the more mature of the two.

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