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Rereading Jenny: Anyone But You

January 10, 2014

[Spotlights contain spoilers, usually.]

Nina: Not a doormat, but not super driven in her career to the point of not being able to deal with relationships.  Kind of a middlin’ character, in that she likes her job and she’s happy with her new-found independence.

Alex: Lazy at home, efficient and well-liked at work, with a crazy upscale family that doesn’t think that an ER doc is the way to go.  They want him to specialize.  Traditionally handsome.

Fred: The greatest dog in all of literature.

What else?  Oral sex to (female) orgasm.  Sassy bff.  Colorful secondary and tertiary characters.  Another subverted Damn the Ex by having the Ex suck to begin with, although this one is more relatable than Mark; he’s more of the “she changed, you didn’t, or maybe you did, but she changed more” kind of guy.  Oblivious, though, because he’s overbearing.  I wonder if Crusie is purposely messing with the traditionally domineering lead of the ’70s and ’80s by making him the Ex in these books.

Also, what is this crap?

anyonebutyou2

Well, at least Fred’s in there.

It’s like taking all the edge out.  I’m glad they redid it in yellows and Freds.

Anyway, none of this is the actual plot.  Nina has just turned 40 and is recently divorced and newly jobbed and apartmented.  She wants a dog, a cute little puppy she can take care of.  Instead she gets Fred, the greatest dog in all of literature.  A guy would be nice too, but she’s not holding her breath.

Alex is about to turn 30 and his family is pushing him to get out of the ER and into something that’s “respectable.”  His girlfriends want marriage and kids.  He just wants to come home at the end of the night and watch old movies on TV–and never have kids.

Nina and Alex are perfect for each other, but they’re hung up on the age difference.  Nina feels too old, and Alex feels too young.  Everyone else thinks they’re being stupid.

That’s it.  No mysteries, no sex in cars, just two people who want each other but are afraid of getting shot down.

However, this does mark the first, but not last, time Crusie writes a heroine who doesn’t want kids.  Although there’s this “too old” thing, which I find SO WEIRD considering the fact that so many of her other heroines want kids and are 35 or 36–like, ACTUALLY SAYS they’re 35 or 36.

Anyway, this is one of my favorites.  LOVE Fred.  I need to reread this more often, when I’m feeling down, because it’s so much fun.

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