What's a Comso Girl to do?

What's a Comso Girl to do?
Book Review — Cosmopolitan Girls, by Charlotte Burley and Lyah Beth LeFlore

Meet the Cosmopolitan Girls: Lindsay Bradley and Charlie Thorton. Lindsay is from St. Louis, Missouri, and Charlie is from Buffalo, New York. Both move to New York City, ready to find love and success and "take the city by storm." As young, beautiful black women, both are trying to balance professional ambitions with their romantic needs and desires. When they meet by chance in a bar in the city, they "click" instantly. Each woman is comforted and inspired by the other, and they make plans to meet and talk again. They don't know it at first, but they are destined to meet each other and change each other's lives.

Meeting Charlie sent a resounding revelation through my brain. I was late learning, but I learned, women have the power to heal each other through friendship. We were two women from two different backgrounds, but that didn't matter. Our lives were a lot more similar than one would immediately suspect. I was the hopeless romantic, driven by career. Charlie was the kind of woman who knew better than to wear her heart on her sleeve.

So this meeting, by chance, coincidence, fate, or whatever you want to call it, started something really special and wonderful. The close bond Charlie and I developed became both therapeutic and sinfully fun. Two little girls from small towns set of to the "big city" to make good.

If you are still reading this review, you are probably thinking, "Well, that sounds a little after-school special to me . . ." And you are right. An after-school-special for God-fearing grown women who like to have sex – but only in a good-girl way – and who enjoy sista-girl bonding, mutual affirmation, and plotting revenge. Often over an alcoholic drink.

But I can't knock a positive story when I see one. So, I admit it -- this is a positive, inspiring tale. These woman have their stuff together. They are educated and ambitious. They support each other. They pursue their dreams. They –mostly – make the right decisions. But they make mistakes, too. My goodness, they are human! These women are role models . . .

But still. When was the last time you watched an after-school special?

I know -- it's not Charlie and Lindsay's fault. The writing just isn't so good! What's a cosmopolitan girl to do? It's flat. Boring. Trite. The dialogue is really, really, sadly, unrealistic. The characters are undeveloped and one-dimensional. There wasn't a drop of depth to be found. Honestly, I had to force myself to finish the book. In a pervese way, I am glad that I did . . . The story got more interesting, despite the writing . . . I found myself curious to know what was going to happen next . . . I LOVE happy, positive endings, despite a touch of self-degrading, immature, over-the-top behavior. I mean, I can take a bit of drama . . .

But the writing . . .

Okay, some people love this kind of stuff – a juicy, sexy, life-affirming story and characters who have the kind of lives and problems that most readers would envy. And I admit that "good writing" is subjective. But I need good writing to go with my good stories. If you don't (for instance, if you think that Destiny's Child's lyrics are "deep") you won't be disappointed by this book. The story is actually good – and I swear, I am not being sarcastic. But, if you need character development, plot development, depth, and all that stuff, wait for the movie. If anyone in Hollywood is paying any attention, this book will be adapted for screen and played on BET in no time at all.

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