By: Michelle Markowitz & Caroline Moss
Published Year: 2018
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): Based on the column of the same name that appeared in The Toast, Hey Ladies! is a laugh-out-loud read that follows a fictitious group of eight 20-and-30-something female friends for one year of holidays, summer house rentals, dates, brunches, breakups, and, of course, the planning of a disastrous wedding. This instantly relatable story is told entirely through emails, texts, DMs, and every other form of communication known to man.
The women in the book are stand-ins for annoying friends that we all have. There’s Nicole, who’s always broke and tries to pay for things in Forever21 gift cards. There’s Katie, the self-important budding journalist, who thinks a retweet and a byline are the same thing. And there’s Jen, the DIY suburban bride-to-be. With a perfectly pitched sardonic tone, Hey Ladies! will have you cringing and laughing as you recognize your own friends, and even yourself.
What I thought
This book is an epistolary novel, meaning that it is told entirely through emails and texts. The interesting thing about this modern take is that there are some illustrations included in lieu of picture messages.
Hey Ladies is the story of 8 female friends in the late 20s/early 30s (I think?). It follows them through one year of their lives through their emails and texts to each other.
I feel like the best way to sum this book up is like watching a car crash, or watching some really trash reality TV. Everyone is terrible but I couldn’t look away. I wanted to see these girls’ lives go through terrible things and take pleasure from it.
Each and every character, with maybe the exception of one of them, is terrible. They are the worst stereotype of what people think women in the 20s are like. They are self-centered, rude, and inconsiderate. Jen (slight spoiler?) is a major bridezilla, Ami is a Maid of Honor-zilla, Jen’s mother is a horrible person, Nicole is the biggest ditz and terrible with her money, Katie is delusional, Morgan kind of falls by the sidelines, Ashley lives in Connecticut so she’s barely involved, Caitlin is easily the most self-obsessed person I have ever read, and Gracie is the only semi-decent one and she isn’t in the story much either.
I will say that I enjoyed the style of the story. The emails and texts made this is super quick read, and I enjoyed the illustrations as well. Even though I wasn’t crazy about the story or the characters, I find myself kind of wanting a sequel? It’s definitely like watching a trashy reality show where you’re questioning your sanity for watching it the entire time and then swear you’re not going to watch the second season, and then you do. I also really look forward to trash talking each and every one of these characters with book club!
What Book Club Thought
Man this was such a fun book to talk about. We discussed the issues we had with the book and that some of us, when we picked it up, didn’t realize it was going to be a satire. We also discussed how we were irritated by the over-exaggeration of the stereotypes of women in their 20s/30s. Pretty much we all hated it but loved getting to talk about it with others. While it’s not a book any of us would recommend necessarily, I would recommend reading it with someone. Otherwise you’re going to just find yourself frustrated and hating these characters. We tried to pick out characteristics from certain characters to see who we could relate to the most, but it was pretty tricky. The best part was discussing what irritated us the most and realizing that we would never do those things in our group friendship. With the exception of a mocking/satirical email chain when book club was getting set up ;)