Rated Reads

A Girl’s Guide to Modern European Philosophy

by Charlotte Greig

Rated: High

As a 22-year-old philosophy student at Sussex, Susannah’s life revolves around her studies and her relationship with her older boyfriend Jason. When a boy in her course catches her fancy, she’s suddenly pulled in two different directions, but instead of making a decision and choosing one over the other, she floats along and lets her philosophical musings convince her that making no decision is a decision in and of itself. When the situation hits the fan and Susannah finally has to look into herself and decide what she wants, she once again turns to modern-day philosophers to work through what she really wants for herself and her future.

There are things about this book that I liked. I did like that you get an introduction to philosophy and that you can see it applied; I also liked that Susannah grew up a bit throughout the course of the book. The writing style alternated between light chick-lit and deep philosophy, which was interesting. Beyond flowing hair for the men and disco, the book just didn’t give me much of a sense of the 1970s — with the exception of the feminist debate, especially over the issue of abortion, which felt very realistic and gave me a sense for how hard it would have been to figure out your role as a woman during that time.

However, for me, the plot was too much based in Susannah’s bedroom life, and the pace was a bit slow. Beyond that, I wanted her to stand on her own feet more, and even at the end when she finally made a choice, I still felt like she was being self-absorbed, which was frustrating for me. I think my main problem can be boiled down to the fact that I just could not relate very well to any of the characters, despite my appreciation for their struggles.

Rated: High for three-plus explicit sexual scenes and multiple uses of strong (“f-word”) and moderate language.

— Reviewed by Corinne Edwards

Corinne Edwards is always happiest when a book is in her hand. If her current read needs to be closed for a short time, either in her backpack while she leads her three rambunctious children on adventures, or on her nightstand while she sleeps, that's okay too. Her book thoughts and reviews land at her bookish blog, The Book Nest.

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  • A Girl’s Guide to Modern European Philosophy
  • by Charlotte Greig
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: