I’ll Be Your Everything

J J Murray, Author
J.J. Murray. Kensington, $15 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-7582-5897-7
Reviewed on: 01/16/2012
Release date: 03/01/2012
Mass Market Paperbound - 423 pages - 978-0-7582-5898-4
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Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-61773-289-8
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The promise of Murray’s (She’s the One) title is beside the point; narrator Shari Nance, a 27-year-old Southern black woman transplanted to New York City, is already her own everything. After a brief encounter with a clueless tourist that opens the novel, Shari’s self-absorbed monologue runs for two and a half chapters before she interacts with anyone else. When she does, it’s with a receptionist at the advertising agency where she works , of whom she says, “Other than me, she is the nicest person here.” Shari’s sincere emotional bonds with others is not a factor in the story. But for those who don’t insist on human connectedness, there is a certain chick lit pleasure in Shari’s observations while she deals with a boss straight out of Working Girl. Unimpressed with Yankee pretensions, unashamedly pursuing her boss’s boyfriend, and angling to prove to management that she’s more than just an administrative assistant, Shari offers tart and topical commentary about a caricatured but recognizable New York subculture of 20-somethings in the city. that is endlessly ripe for such skewering. (Mar.)