The Journal of Mortifying Moments (2004)
Author: Robyn Harding
Genre: Chick Lit
Kerry Spence hates her job in an advertising agency, and her gorgeous but indifferent boyfriend Sam only seems to call when it’s convenient to him. She sees a therapist who suggests she start a journal about her past encounters with men that might be contributing to her current dysfunctional relationship which gives us glimpses into Kerry’s hilariously embarrassing past romantic encounters. In addition to her therapist, Kerry also seeks personal awareness through a Zen self-help book, a Tarot card reader and advice from her equally dysfunctional friends. In her quest to become a better person, she begins mentoring an at-risk teen and finds she gets as much from the relationship as her young protégé. We follow her through her disastrous dates, encounters with her evil boss and lecherous co-workers, until she finally meets a nice guy named Nick, only to have him witness Sam proposing to her and her reluctant acceptance. All of her self-awareness work pays off in the end when Kerry breaks off her engagement to Sam and quits her job and finally finds happiness.
Geographical Setting: Seattle
Time Period: 2004
Hilariously funny, the journal entries make this book highly reminiscent of Bridget Jones's Diary. It is fast paced with short chapters that frequently have cliff-hanger endings with Kerry careening from one mishap to the next. The secondary characters are little more than amusing stereotypes, but Kerry’s character is fully developed and thoroughly believable. You find yourself groaning aloud when she makes mistakes and cheering for her happiness in the end. The contemporary Seattle setting might be a draw for some readers.
Similar Authors: Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones's Diary); Allison Pearson (I Don't Know How She Does It : The Life Of Kate Reddy, Working Mother); Lauren Weisberger (The Devil Wears Prada); Marian Keyes (Sushi for Beginners)
Red Flags: A mild BDSM scene. Mild Profanity. Sexual situations.