Published March 1st 2016 by Grand Central Publishing
Now Harriet has the perfect opportunity to take revenge on the person who broke her heart. But as she begins to doubt her own motivations and presumably faultless guidance, she's forced to question how much she really knows about love, friendship and well-meaning advice.
However, the more I read, the more I realized that my initial reaction to Harriet wasn’t because I found her shallow or one-note. Instead, my reaction was because I recognized a part of myself in Harriet.
In her first fiction title, Author Katie Heaney has managed to effortlessly and brilliantly capture that uncertain, hopeful and awkward (!) period of every college-aged girl’s life as they struggle with relationships and romance, even as they pretend like they’re confident and know it all.
Though Harriet may act all knowing as “Emma” a.k.a. the advice-giving guru on her school paper, Heaney does a thorough job of showing how college junior Harriet is actually just as uncertain and directionless as the rest of the student body. She obsesses over the lack of social media updates from said crush. She side-eyes other girls that she thinks may be getting close to her crush. She even unintentionally judges friends, who may be one-upping her in the relationship department.
In other words, Heaney shows Harriet having all of the thoughts that readers have likely had, but are also too embarrassed to actually share or vocalize. Harriet is us, in essence.
But just like any other college experience, Heaney makes it a point to show how Harriet may stumble, but ends up learning from her experience as a result.
When Harriet is put in a situation where she ends up befriending a fellow student who may or may not be competing for Keith’s affections, Heaney has Harriet not only reevaluating her approach toward the advice she dispenses in her column, but also recognizing that genuine female relationships shouldn’t be defined by the men in one’s life.
Though some may worry that the ending sounds like a very stereotypical female empowerment tale, Heaney smartly concludes the book by emphasizing that sometimes, you shouldn’t even have to choose between one relationship or the other. Even if your friends are happy as a couple, you can still have a healthy and meaningful relationship with your friends.
It’s Harriet’s recognition of that fact that makes a very singular relationship tale stand out in the end.
A cheery, breezy journey for all readers.