Review: “Brooklyn Girls (Pia)” by Gemma Burgess {with thanks to Quercus}

Fantastically funny, fresh and utterly relatable, Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess is the first novel in her brand new series about five twenty-something friends—Pia, Angie, Julia, Coco and Madeleine—sharing a brownstone in hip, downtown Brooklyn, and discovering the ups and downs and ins and outs of  their “semi-adult” lives.

 The first story belongs to sophisticated, spoiled, and stylish Pia, who finds herself completely unemployed, unemployable, and broke. So what is a recent grad with an art history degree and an unfortunate history of Facebook topless photos to do? Start a food truck business of course!

 Pia takes on the surprisingly cutthroat Brooklyn world of hybrid lettuce growers, artisanal yogurt makers and homemade butter producers to start SkinnyWheels—all while dealing with hipster bees, one-night-stands, heartbreak, parental fury, wild parties, revenge, jail, loan sharks, playboys, karaoke, true love, and one adorable pink food truck. And that’s without counting her roommates’ problems, too. Gemma Burgess has captured the confusion, hilarity and excitement of the post-graduate years against a backdrop of the pressures and chaos of New York City life, with heartfelt empathy, fast humour and sharp honesty.
A charming debut series about five twenty-something girls and the humour, heartbreak, and drama that bring them together.





LIFE BEGINS AT 22! I have been (metaphorically) dying to read this! Not only was I interested in the ‘new adult’ genre that Gemma had picked up since writing her adult novels; ‘A Girl Like You’ and ‘The Dating Detox’, but that this was going to be a series! The cover just screams; PICK ME UP, and I was lucky enough for Quercus to gift me a copy to read. Also, I just love books that are set in New York City. As a matter of fact…I love anything to do with NYC! So right away I knew this was going to be so amazing….
The facts were; ‘Brooklyn Girls’ was, yes, set in Brooklyn, and revolved around the lives of Pia, Julia, Coco, Madeleine and Angie. The first novel is all about Pia, who was in such a dilemma in her life. She had nothing figured out, except that she was a twenty-something year old living with her friends in Julia’s Aunt’s house that she inherited when she died.
Gemma wrote with realistic and spot-on facts and ways of the chaotic life of Pia and her friends. Pia was a unique-sort of character, and I’m glad this first book was in her perspective. She was such a strong, smart and feisty person, and she outshone the others by miles, making her the most relatable and honest girl.
The first scene in the novel is Pia waking up at what was the ‘housewarming’ party, where she has a hangover and is struck with images of her ‘flashing’ party guests…the images now on Facebook. Now, Pia was broke, just out of college and fired from her job in PR…and to make matters worse, she was cut off by her parents.
“Because I don’t want to get rejected again. Because it’s too hard. Because I’m scared of taking a risk.”
And that’s not even the beginning of the wild one-nighters, heartbreak and that food truck; an idea that Pia thinks will take off and soon borrows money from a loan shark. She sets out to make a ton of profits, but wherever the Brooklyn girls are, complications follow…
My favourite character was definitely the half Indian, half Swiss; Pia. Her personality shone through in little breaks throughout the novel, showing the readers a side to Pia that maybe she didn’t express aloud, but that she confided in her narration with. She struggled with the break-up of her first love and that knocked her back a little, too–and no one said finding someone suitable to date was ever super easy at 22…but no one was trying to be perfect, either…and that was the thing about Brooklyn Girls that made me love it so much…it was realistic and truthful.
I adored the quirky, unique take on an idea that could’ve gone in a completely different direction. It had humour, the occasional ‘adult’ content and perhaps some jail time, but nevertheless, it was one of the most entertaining, marvellous books I’ve read this year. It had all the characteristics of a YA novel, but with a dash of an Adult theme that will give anyone competing in this ‘New Adult’ genre, a run for their money.
I thought that Gemma really tied up the ending so well, and I can’t wait to read the next instalment! I heard the next one will be in Angie’s perspective, and she was completely different to Pia in her own impulsive and funny way.
Much love for Brooklyn Girls that will get an OUTSTANDING five stars from me.

with thanks to Quercus books for letting me read such an amazing novel; my first ‘New Adult’ book!


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