Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favorites as well as share books that you want to read that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them. These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. If you’d just link back to her @ It’s Book Talk she’d so appreciate it!
I was going through boxes of books in my closet this week and found one of my favorite books that I read when I was twenty-one and stuck on 8 weeks of bedrest for preterm labor with my oldest son, so reading was about all I could do. That was when I discovered Jane Green and fell in love with her writing.
Straight Talking by Jane Green; Published August 26, 1997 by Arrow
(I’m not sure what I would rate it 19 yrs later) 🙂
Meet Tasha—single and still searching. A producer for Britain’s most popular morning show working under a nightmare boss, Tash is well-versed in the trials and tribulations of twenty-first-century dating. She and her three best friends certainly haven’t lived the fairy tale they thought they would: there’s Andy, who’s hooked on passion, but too much of a tomboy to have moved much beyond the beer-drinking contest stage; Mel, stuck in a steady but loveless relationship; and Emma, endlessly waiting for her other half to propose. Their love lives are only complicated by the sort of men who seem to drift in and out: Andrew—suave, good-looking and head over heels in love . . . with himself; Simon, who is allergic to commitment but has a bad-boy nature that’s impossible to resist; and Adam—perfectly attractive, but too sweet to be sexy.
The bestselling first novel that launched Jane Green, one of the brightest stars in contemporary women’s fiction, Straight Talking sets the record straight regarding the real world of dating, and follows the adventures of Tash and her friends as they search for fulfillment and the right kind of love. Funny, flirty, and ultimately tender, Straight Talking gets at the heart of modern romance.
This is Jane Green’s first published novel, and as I said my first Jane Green book. I look back to when I was twenty-one and read this, and it is so funny how my reading tastes have changed over time! And how Jane Green’s writing style has metamorphosed over the years from very funny, flirty, irreverent chick-lit to funny, contemporary women’s fiction that has a message of some kind for her readers…like in her latest book The Sunshine Sisters on the importance of family, forgiving each other, self-discovery, and starting anew.
And this is why I wanted to highlight this book today. As my way of reflecting on how we as readers change as we get older. And I don’t mean you have to be 19 years older like I am to reflect on how you’ve changed as a reader; you can be 1 year older, six months older, 40 years older; after all, most of us, no matter how old we are or how long we’ve been reading, have probably been exposed to new and different genres and new authors, experienced new and myriad life experiences, our reading tastes have been shaped by love, loss, happiness, pain and everything in between, and we as individuals have come into our own, as of right now, with what our reading tastes are and what makes us who we, at least this very moment in time.
That can be said for authors too; the Jane Green of 1997 who wrote Straight Talking, a book that has one of the hottest sex scenes that I can remember reading, is not the Jane Green of 2017. Her books are more contemplative nowadays and although there is romance and sex, the sex is definitely only teased at or written much more laid back than the Green of old. She has toned things down and focuses on more important things like family and life experiences and as I said above, she has a message that she wants to impart in her stories that was missing when she began her writing career. She’s grown with time and changed too.
So even though my Throwback choice for today is not Green’s best writing, I loved the book when I first read it and still do. Almost 20 years ago, I loved it because I was young, newly married, and remembered what it was like to be single, and a part of me, the very, hugely pregnant part of me, was very jealous of Tasha for being single and having men fawning after her. Now, the 40-year-old me appreciates the humor in the book, Jane’s clever, flirty writing, and the straight talking in the book. Green was not shy in this book with setting the record straight about love, single life, dating, men, and sex. It was almost shocking, and it is really rather comical to compare the old Green with the new Green! This book will go into my pile to treasure since it introduced me to one of my most favorite authors but also reminds me how I’ve changed over the years as a woman and as a reader. And it doesn’t matter how much I’ve changed or Jane Green has changed, there is still a love affair…my love of her books has never wavered. I’m even going to reread this book and have a little fun remembering my 21-year-old old self! A girl always needs a little walk down memory lane and a little Straight Talking in her life now and then 😉