Tuesday, April 19, 2011

BFFs Forever

The Girls from Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow
I feel like a have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this book, similar to how you'd feel with a close family member or friend. Reading it you can't help but love yet, yet there's a few things that bothered me, even if they may come off a little petty.

The book explores the relationship of 11 childhood friends as they grow up and their friendship evolves. The book starts out with a chapter devoted to a few of the girls specifically. It explores their family life, their parents' professions, their religious background, and other foundations of their lives. Through each of the chapter you get to know the girl in the chapter title. Except there are only 4 such chapters. Thankfully there were a few girls outside of these 4 I did feel I got to know, but others who by the end of the book I knew little to nothing about. There is a basic fact sheet with pictures of each of the girls that I referenced throughout the book trying to keep them all straight. But while there is a ton of information on some of them, others only seemed to be mentioned in passing.

I would assume that the reason for the range of information has to be a privacy issue. Some girls were more comfortable having the details of their life in a book than others. But since it was never specifically addressed, instead those girls seemed to be somewhat forgotten.

Another dislike I had on the book comes off a little petty, but reading the book I couldn't help but be jealous of this large group of friends. Don't get me wrong, I have a several great friends from various aspects of my life, some even since birth. But there's never really been a big group of people, and I've always thought it would be fun to be apart of one. The book does actually address this a bit, when several of the girls comment of their daughters' friendships and wish they also had a group of friends just like there's from Ames, so at least I'm not alone wanting to be part of such a group.

But even with these complaints, I still really enjoyed the book and am glad I picked it up. In a way the best way to really sum up the book is that it truly is like catching up with a group of good friends.



  1. I have almost picked this up a couple of times but I haven't heard anyone really rave about it... I should try to get it from the library.

    I am a bit surprised that a male author wrote this book. This sounds sexist, but I just wondered how well a male could capture the spirit of friendships between women?

  2. I would tend to agree with you. I enjoyed the book, but had some trouble keeping track of who was who!

    My boyfriend went to school in Ames though, and I've visited a few times. A couple of years ago, a few of them were in town for a book signing. I couldn't go, but he went and had them sign it for me!

  3. Honestly if I wasn't from Iowa and had lived in Ames for 4 years I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much as I did... I agree, it did seem like some of the characters were "missing". I'm sure they didn't want to be in the books and have their lives put out there like that.
    For me, it was the pure novelty of it all. It was kinda cool to read about somewhere that is dear to me in a book! ;)