PLOT- In her memoir, Girl Trouble, Kerry Cohen explores her often difficult relationships with female friends. Girl Trouble is filled with illustrations by Cohen's sister, Tyler Cohen.
LIKE- Cohen titles each chapter with the name of a friend who, for better or worse, made an impact on her life. Cohen is speaking on the difficult and sticky subject of female relationships. I found her experience to ring true, it's unfortunate, but there is a steep learning curve when developing friendships with other women, and hurt feelings are common. I think it's because as children, we are told to be friends with everyone and to be careful not to exclude anyone. Although this is a nice sentiment, it's not a realistic way to form true friendships. Maybe it would be better to focus on being kind to everyone, but realize it's okay to not develop deep friendships with everyone you meet.
It's a stereotype, but I'll risk it, women tend to be more emotional in their relationships, which leads to higher drama and higher risk. Towards the end of Cohen's memoir, we see how she has learned to become more selective in her friendships and more protective of herself. This completely rings true and personally, I hope I've finally put behind investing in friendships that are destructive, and letting those friendships that are genuine flourish. I hope I've learned to be more discerning. Although this conclusion is hard earned (Cohen is just a little older than me), I feel that her book could be a good guide for younger female readers, in the sense that "it gets better". My experience has been that when female friendships dissolve, it's almost more heartbreaking than romantic break-ups, especially during that vulnerable period, high school- mid- 20's. It's tough.
Cohen as the protagonist is likable, and it's fascinating to watch her grow from a painfully awkward child to a strong and introspective adult.
DISLIKE- Some of the chapters were more interesting or affecting than others, but there isn't anything to truly dislike about Cohen's collection. It's a strong memoir.
RECOMMEND- Yes, enthusiastically! This is a must-read for women, who I suspect will all find aspects of, Girl Trouble, to be familiar. I think it's easy to push aside painful former friendships, but Cohen's story will force you to consider your own past and how these relationships shaped you. If you have any current toxic friendships, it might give you the courage to let them go.