“Chick lit” has been used to describe the Sex and the City-esque slew of books that have recently become popular. Most of these novels deal with the trials and tribulations of unlucky women equal in love and life.
Like so many books before it, The J.A.P. Chronicles tells the tale of New York City socialites who spend their time trying to figure out men and dealing with nasty stresses like holding a job and finding the perfect sale at Barney’s department store.
However, this novel adds a spin: It details the lives of several women, all Jewish, who once were bunkmates at an upscale Jewish summer camp in Maine.
The term J.A.P. stands for Jewish American Princess. Imagine a mix between The Nanny and Will and Grace’s leading lady and you have the ultimate prissy, rich, high maintenance Jewish girl that has become the typical stereotype.
The J.A.P. Chronicles plays off this stereotype by including a several-page descriptive trip to the salon, incessant designer name dropping and force feeding readers to endure a geography lesson on which areas of New York have the best shopping.
Despite these fluffy details, the story is really quite depressing. There is the woman who is leading a seemingly perfect life, all the while hiding the fact that she is a lesbian. Another woman is dumped by her boyfriend and becomes a drug-addicted bartender who gets raped.
One woman who realizes during her engagement that she is not ready for commitment, so she runs away to South America for a steamy affair with the photographer hired for her wedding. And readers can’t forget about the woman who is secretly suffering from breast cancer.
This novel details the depressing and hopeless lives of Jewish women who are mainly at a disadvantage because they are too rich and looking for the perfect Jewish doctor to marry.
The author cleverly uses quirky stereotypical moments to disguise the fact that her entire work is about how these J.A.P.s end up hating life.
This book is best left to readers who don’t mind stories of pity, and Jewish girls who don’t mind being mildly insulted. Otherwise, Sex and the City-esque stories are probably best left to Sex and the City.
Jessica Cohen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.