Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: "The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance" by Elna Baker

From Goodreads:  It's lonely being a Mormon in New York City. So once again, Elna Baker attends the New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance-a virgin in a room full of virgins doing the Macarena. Her Queen Bee costume, which involves a black funnel stuck to her butt for a stinger, isn't attracting the attention she'd anticipated. So once again, Elna is alone at the punch bowl, stocking up on generic Oreos, exactly where you'd expect to find a single Mormon who's also a Big Girl. But loneliness is nothing compared to what happens when she loses eighty pounds. . . . and falls in love with an atheist.

The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance is the memoir of a girl who distresses her family when she chooses NYU over BYU. A girl who's cultivating an oxymoronic identity as a bold, educated, modern, funny, proper, abstinent, religious stand-up comic, equal parts wholesome and hot. As Elna test-drives her identity, she finds herself in the strangest scenarios including selling creepy, overpriced dolls to petulant children at FAO Schwarz and dressing a head wound with a maxi pad while on a date.
My Thoughts:  I really didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book.  I actually bought it on accident and didn't even realize it was a memoir.  That being said, it was surprisingly cute.  At first it seemed like another memoir from a heavy girl who lost the weight and found love but it's not (I don't dislike those types of memoirs but I just wasn't in the mood for one).  She does talk about her weight loss but this is more a tale of her spiritual awakening.  It was funny to see a good Mormon girl, who is desperate to get married in the temple, swear and make out with any guy she can.  I loved the story where she made a fortune cookie costume for her church dance that wound up looking like part of a woman's anatomy, talk about hysterical.  I feel like Elna was almost a Mormon version of Jen Lancaster and I think that is why I enjoyed this book so much.  I lived in Utah for several years but I liked that Elna is not your typical Mormon woman that one would normally imagine.  She was smart and funny and looking for a partner just like anyone else.  I am also super jealous of the fact that she got to live all over the world because of her father's job.  I also liked that she discusses her feelings towards her religion and her questions about it but it never feels like she is trying to convert anyone (in case you were worried).  This book started off slow but keep going, it's well worth it.  4 stars.

1 comment:

  1. I just love the title of this. I think that alone is enough to make me want to read it.


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