Reading this book is bit like sitting down and
watching an entire season of Will & Grace or Friends
on DVD. Fun, witty but just a bit much all at once.
You have a pretty, young heroine who bemoans her lack
of sex life and her group of equally attractive and
charming friends. They all live together in that
wonderful fantasyland where you have gourmet pizza
parties and can afford to fly out to visit your
friends at a momentís notice. Oh yes, and everyone
wears gorgeous clothes that fit really well.
After finding out she's about to get screwed out of a
promotion she very much deserves, reporter Jen Brenner
decides to make a bold change in her life and take a
job at a small town newspaper in Meredith, Montana.
There she discovers a life quite different from her
very cosmopolitan one in San Francisco. For one thing,
she's suddenly surrounded by hot, available, and most
importantly, straight men. It seems she may just end
her two year long celibacy. She meets a handsome
environmental activist named Steve who seems perfect
in every way. For some reason though, Jen can't stop
thinking about Bruce Mortensen, a soon to be divorced
EPA agent who is terribly old at forty-four.
Jen is your typical self-absorbed, neurotic chick lit
heroine. She spends a lot of time worrying about her
single status at the "ancient" age of thirty and her
celibacy. Although the reader is tempted to hate her,
particularly one of the many times she avoids an issue
by getting plastered on trendy cocktails, there
is something about her one can't help but like. Maybe
it's because most readers will be able to identify
with the horror of confronting an ex-boyfriend's new
squeeze while looking like a slob, or the melancholy
of being the only single at a party full of couples.
Although Bruce is technically the hero in the book,
the story really is not one of his and Jen's
relationship. It is all about Jen, and her daily
struggles with her life and emotions. Because the book
is told in first person, Bruce is relegated to being
an afterthought. He's the one Jen wants, and lusts
after, but as far as getting to know him, the reader
doesn't. That is not unexpected, because this book is
by no means a traditional romance. I mean the heroine
at one point has sex with someone other than the hero
The secondary characters mostly include Jen's group of
painstakingly multi-cultural friends. For example,
there is her married gay friend Robert, who is always
on hand to give Jen a little Queer Eye for the
Straight Girl treatment about her wardrobe or Katie,
the frank Vietnamese-American who favors wild hairdos
and bold sex. The whole group is straight from central
casting of popular singleton shows. Still, they're a
fun bunch and amusing despite their two
Each chapter is begun with an e-mail that either
foreshadows an upcoming event or gives some insight
into a character's personality. These can be funny at
times, particularly one that is a receipt from an
online drugstore. At first glance, it's not known why
the reader should be interested in it, but as the
story goes on it's meaning becomes humorously clear.
There are many other moments in the book that can make
the reader laugh out loud, but I won't spoil them.
Green has a quick, engaging writing style that hooks
the reader. She peppers the books with frequent pop
culture references to remind the reader how hip she is
(although Mortal Kombat? Soooo mid-nineties). At
times, however, she is guilty of trying a bit too hard
to make Jen the next Bridget Jones. Green even
references Helen Fielding's writing in the story. The
most distracting example of this is when the very
American Jen starts spouting odd British sounding
phrases like tatty-looking and slattern.
In general however, Is That a Moose in Your Pocket?
is a lighthearted fun read sure to be popular with
fans of Bridget Jones and Sex and the City type shows.