The Guy Not Taken is a collection of short stories by Jennifer Weiner. Most feature a woman as the main character (there was only one exception) and they all focus on romantic and family relationships.
May was a month of boring reads for me, but The Guy Not Taken was the worst of the bunch. It was an altogether forgettable anthology. Any attempt at depth was usually not executed with particular nuance or effectiveness. None of the stories had particularly original or even interesting concepts. They each featured characters or experiences that could easily have been taken from the author’s own life. While it is perfectly normal for writers to pull from their life experiences, this felt more like a complete absence of creativity.
In my opinion, the strongest story of the collection was Buyer’s Market, about a woman who is coerced into selling her New York City apartment. I liked the arc of the story and the theme of finding where you fit in, even if you don’t end up where you expected. But as I said before, the idea could easily have come from Weiner’s own life and even within this one story, the quality was inconsistent. The end felt a lot stronger than the beginning. It’s one of those stories where you can’t help but be frustrated by the main character (in this instance, I couldn’t stand the character’s lack of backbone), but the character comes into her own at the end.
This would be a decent book for a vacation. Despite the fact that I spent three days dragging my feet as I read, it’s an easy read and short stories are good for reading in bursts.
Title: The Guy Not Taken
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Publisher: Atria Books
My rating: ☆☆ (2 stars)
Recommended for: Anyone looking for an easy vacation read.