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EW reviews the latest in chick lit

EW reviews the latest in chick lit — We take a closer look at hot new titles by Isabel Rose, Wendy Holden, Kathleen Tessaro, and Melissa Nathan

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EW reviews the latest in chick lit

THE J.A.P. CHRONICLES Isabel Rose

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ali Cohen goes to her exclusive summer camp’s reunion to avenge the snooty bunk-mates who once tortured her. The plan: to make a documentary exposing their shallowness. Source of Angst She grows to (gasp!) like them. Baby Talk Ali refuses to publicly acknowledge her pregnancy or marry her longtime boyfriend: ”In Ali’s circle, children, period, were pretty much unheard of.” Lowdown No big surprises, but Chronicles does offer a fun peek inside hoity-toity summer camps. B

INNOCENCE Kathleen Tessaro

Evie, Robbie, and Imogene meet as drama school students in London; relationships, addictions, marriages, and motherhood ensue. Source of Angst Evie turns down a Juilliard scholarship to stay with bad-boy beau Jake. Baby Talk Evie says of her 4-year-old son: ”[Alex has] developed. . .a certain flair for the English language that, as an actress, I have to admire. . . .Stupid becomes stuuuuuuuuuuupid.” Lowdown Elegantly written and compelling, the slightly soap-operatic tale packs more emotional heft than most chick lit. A-

THE WIVES OF BATH Wendy Holden

A birthing class introduces two couples, glam Hugo and Amanda and crunchy Jake and Alice. Turns out Alice and Amanda hate each other due to a workplace cat-fight. Source of Angst Amanda and Jake never take to parenthood, forcing their other halves to cope alone. Baby Talk ”[There was a] bake sale to which all parents were expected to contribute. Hugo had got the strong impression that if he didn’t, the baby would get it.” Lowdown A breezy tale that offers resonant (and hilarious) truths about parenting. B+

THE WAITRESS Melissa Nathan

Katie can’t commit to a man or a career — unless you count waitressing at a run-down café. Source of Angst She even bolts mid-date from the man of her dreams — who ends up buying the café. Baby Talk Katie chokes up over the restaurant’s trendy makeover, including a children’s section with tiny chairs and a toy coffee machine: ”It was so good she wanted to have a baby.” Lowdown Cute story, but too much focus on ancillary characters buries a genuinely witty heroine. B-

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