Monday, July 6

Book Reviews: Fishbowl

Title: Fishbowl

Author: Sarah Mlynowski

Pages: 360

Summary: Allison can’t wait for Jodine and Emma to move in to her apartment - until she realizes having roommates means living in a fishbowl: You’re never alone. When one small, slightly accidental fire leads to one big repair bill, all efforts to avoid each other are finally abandoned: They’ve got to raise money …. Fast (“Insurance? You mean you have to pay for that?”). This means joining forces. Bonding? Well, at least they’re talking to each other!

Amazingly they agree on a plan: shamelessly exploit their combined expertise on the male species for hard cash. Tactics: sell tickets to their swanky soirées and How to Pick Up Women seminars…. But their grand scheme sweeps away any last shreds of privacy with startling consequences. Now that they’re forced to take a hard look at themselves, Allie, Jodine and Emma’s lives - budding friendship- are about to change, in ways they never imagined…

My Rating: 5.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I didn’t like this book much. Although the author was good at creating the picture of what having roommates is like, the book fell short to what I expected. First of all, the characters are the extremes of their personality types. Allie is the naïve, somewhat dumb, doesn’t do anything wrong-unless she’s pressured into it, is walked all over and is constantly giggling about absolutely nothing. Emma is the pretty, fashionable, popular with the boys, hates her parents, “a slut”, who is the worlds biggest bitch, and thinks everyone owes her something. (Although, she does have similarities with a roommate I once had). Then Jodine; the super organized law student, who exercises excessively, has to have everything perfect and orderly and hates other people’s imperfections. (I also had a roommate similar to this… actually I had two!). Yet, Jodine is always late. And if a person is like Jodine, where her personality is like how Jodine is depicted then they aren’t late, ever. They are in control of every aspect of their life and are perfectionists in everything.

Yet another issue, what law student doesn’t have insurance on their stuff in their house? What law student doesn’t report a fire in their house to their landlord? One that will not be a lawyer because she is an idiot, that’s who. The reason why they don’t tell the landlord is they think they remember reading it would be their responsibility. Uhm hello, you still have to report it to the landlord. And he has responsibility, because it could have been wire issues etc. (We wouldn’t know, the fire fighters inspected the house for a total of about five minutes and blamed it on the stove. Some great fire fighters there let me tell you. But I’ll leave that alone for now). Either way, the landlord owns the house, he’s responsible for the structure. The roommates stuff that was destroyed would have been their responsibility. But the walls, cupboards etc. Wouldn’t have been their responsibility) (I lived in a house, and the girls who lived above me and my roommates set the kitchen on fire. The landlord was responsible for fixing the wall the burnt to hell and replacing the tiles etc. (although he didn’t do it until the new tenets made him). In any event, the landlord has responsibilities to protect his tenants in fire and to protect and fix his property. Even if he is a sleezeball landlord, which leads into something else, but that would spoil part of the ending. But he cannot do what he did. Because he is not allowed to touch personal property, and he isn’t allowed to enter the house without giving twenty four hours notice that he is coming to inspect it. (Again, the law student should have known this), and well a lot of things this landlord did, is not allowed in Ontario, where the story took place.

Okay, so what I liked. Again it did show the trials of having roommates. But I expected the story to be more on the roommates issues and what happens when three opposites move in with each other and the “adventures” one has with roommates, and less with a bunch of dumb girls who are obsessed with men who aren’t interested in them, or trying to sleep with every guy they see, or getting wasted at parties. I also liked having the different narratives of each of the roommates, that part was well done, and I think the author did do a good job having a voice for each one, and staying true to each one of their character and traits, although, I could have done with out the omniscient narrator. The story would have been better without that, who although was able to give you a multidimensional perspective on events, often went off on long pointless tangents, that do not matter or progress the story whatsoever. Overall, not what I expected, a lot of aspects bugged me, and the characters were not at all likable or enjoyable to read.

Would I recommend it to read: No, I wouldn't. It's not the best chick lit out there. It had some funny moments, and I think anyone who has had roommates could relate, I just think their are better books out then this.

What to read next: Hmmm, I'd like to read a book about the trials of roommates, a different one, because this was a disappointment for me. Perhaps something else by the author? A lot of reviewers said Milrun was better.

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, Chick Lit Challenge


  1. This doesn't sound like the best book, even before I read your paragraphs on disliking it. I think I'll skip it.

  2. It really was a book that ended up being a big disappointment. Sigh! (I do like Chick Lit... I mean I love Marian Keyes, but a lot of other authors appear to fall short)

  3. It sounds like the the things that niggled at you would have bothered me too. I hate it when authors sacrifice the realistic aspects of the plot to further their own ends in terms of the story. I am not a big fan of Chick lit, but even if I was, I would probably avoid this book.

  4. I like some chick lit, and dislike others, it also depends on my mood whether or not I will like it for some. This was definitely one of the ones I just didn't like.