My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I spent the first half to two-thirds of this book wondering if I actually liked it. I never hated it, mind you, I just wasn't sure if the problem was the book or me. It wasn't easy getting close to Julie. She (or the version of her she displays in this memoir) is quite prickly. Since I can be prickly myself, I can respect that. However, I was reading this while quite sick and it seemed that my own crankiness over being sick was magnified while reading the angst-ridden musings of someone whining about turning 30. This was definitely not a subject over which I could give much sympathy. One of the downsides of having a (wonderful) husband four years older than myself is that I am never allowed the luxury of wallowing in self-pity over hitting a milestone birthday because he has already done it.
Okay, I could cut Julie a little slack on the age angst. I still found myself wondering what it was that this much younger person could teach me about life or food. Perhaps that is why Julia seemed less than impressed with the Julie/Juliea Project. It turns out that I think Julie knows quite alot about both food and life. She certainly had strength to put herself out on display for a year while attempting a truly crazed act of obsession. Again, I know about crazed acts of obsession, so I can relate. Blogging can be quite narcissistic, and Julie certainly indulged herself there. Still, I think that Julie had to get to the point where she was becoming more comfortable in her own skin before I could get comfortable with her portrayal of herself. Thus, the last third of the book was much more satisfying than the first two-thirds. In the end, the feast was worth the trek. I hope it was for Julie as well.
No, this won't be on my list of favorite books read in 2009 (if I actually manage to compile such a thing), but it was an enjoyable enough read. It was rather obvious that this was the author's first book, but it took quite a leap to make that first book a memoir. Audacious and probably a bit self-centered, but that's not always a bad thing.
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