Book Review: Off the Record – Jennifer O’Connell

My blogging has been sporadic lately, but I’m a voracious book fiend, so I’m going to add book reviews to this blog.

Off The RecordThe most recent book I read was Off the Record, by Jennifer O’Connell. I finished reading it this morning. I kept my son up late last night because it’s summer, which allowed him to sleep in this morning, and since sleeping in is pretty impossible for me, I used the gift of time to finish the book. And make banana pancakes, but that’s a different story.

I suppose Off the Record would be described as chick lit. I don’t like pigeon holing books into genres and subgenres, but I’m sure my friend Sarah would classify it as such, and tease me about reading it, because I am in the middle of a perpetually unfinished novel that she classifies as chick lit, too.

Off The Record tells the story of a plain Jane lawyer (fittingly named Jane), who learns that a famous pop song was written about her. It’s a bit of a second-coming of age novel, as Jane is reunited with the little known next door neighbor of her childhood who became the well known one hit wonder. Jane struggles the conflict between the person she thinks she should be and the person described in the song.

The character of Jane develops realistically through the story, but the rest of the characters felt a little flat for me. There were several subplots that could have added more texture to the book, and supporting characters could have had their own development instead of acting as a peanut gallery for Jane’s story. But ultimately, this is Jane’s story, and that part of it works. I also found the backdrop of Chicago to be well-formed. The book definitely knows where it is.

This book reminds me a bit of Tiffanie Debartolo’s How to Kill a Rock Star, a book with the grit of a rock star, which I would recommend well above Off the Record, which is light bubble gum pop – there’s flavor, but not much sustenance. The book is an easy read and would make a good beach book this summer.

The next book I’ll review is Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions, by Guy Kawasaki. BzzAgent sent it to me for free, and since I just accepted a new project analyst job that will require persuasion, I’m looking forward to reading it. Guy was part of the team the originally marketed the Apple Macintosh in 1984, so I think he knows what he’s talking about.

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4 responses to “Book Review: Off the Record – Jennifer O’Connell

  1. I just realized all three book covers are red. Coincidence?

  2. I noticed that too! At first, I thought they were all related.

    Hehe, chick lit! Hey, I don’t care what you’re reading as long as you’re reading 🙂

  3. I feel like I should comment on your blogs more because if you get more comments you will likely write more. Right? That’s how my brain works anyway.

    Now this one has another comment. Yay me.

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