nora zelevansky book coverReviewed by Poppy Johnson

Marjorie Plum is a 28-year-old self-absorbed New Yorker. Once a popular high school girl, she is now trying to find her way in the big city. While out and about, Marjorie runs into an old flame, Mac O’Shea, who is rich and (still) attractive. From then on, Mac is a fairly constant presence, trying – and not giving up – to rekindle their romance. When Marjorie is sacked from her job because of Brianne, a mean girl, the story and Marjorie’s adventures really take off–she’s on a quest to figure out who she really is and what she really wants from her life.

The cast of characters includes: Marjorie’s parents, Barbara and Chipper who mean well but are constantly overbearing and cannot let her grow up even though she already is an adult; her roomie Fred; and a smorgasbord of friends, including Vera. Marjorie develops a love interest in Gus, and flips back and forth between him and Mac throughout the book. But it’s meeting 11-year-old Belinda that pushes Marjorie towards the right path. She agrees to tutor the young girl but Belinda shows Marjorie that although her life is out-of-control and going by way too fast, she can always slow down, straighten out and begin to live for real.

Marjorie’s adventures include ingesting pot brownies, meeting friends for drinks, Mac hitting on her at every turn of the page, – until she finally gives in – and being quizzed on her love life by Belinda. The plot just goes from one event to another, and one meeting for drinks to another. The excitement is the coming of age for a twenty something who should have already “made” but much to her dismay, is only really halfway there. The end of the book, which by the way has a typical ending, also offers discussion questions by the author.

The story within Will You Won’t You Want Me? is decent with Marjorie learning to become more present  and enjoy the truly important things in her life. Luckily, this is achieved by the end of the book and what happens in between are all about her adventures on the way there. Marjorie’s summits are all in the distance and the book is a chronicle of the life events and forces that help her to “work it out, girl”, in a big way.

I recommend the book to anyone interested in reading about someone who finds her own way in a large city. I give it a 4 star rating because while it was a bit tame for my taste in self-revelation, the writing was well done and someone else may find it to be just the right fit for their reading tastes.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by St. Martin’s Griffin. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.