07/09/2013 10:21 am ET

‘Brooklyn Girl': The Selling of a New Type


Lena Dunham once told the New York Times that she doesn't read “airport chick lit, even in a guilty-pleasure way.” So we can only imagine how she’d cringe over a new book series, out this week, called Brooklyn Girls, by Gemma Burgess, a fluffy, feel-good romp about five recently graduated friends and their efforts at finding themselves, all while living together in a Cobble Hill brownstone. The title alone conjures thoughts of Dunham’s Girls — though perhaps in a slightly prettier zipcode.

It’s hard not to see a calculated move by Burgess’s publisher, St. Martin’s Press, to capture some of the HBO series' devoted fan base of 5 million, or the future readers of Dunham’s memoirs, for which she received a $3.7 million advance from Random House. But the latest book seems especially contrived since there is nothing about the story’s central character, Pia, that screams Brooklyn — she’s a party girl who gets fired from her PR job after topless photos appear on Facebook and then launches a pink food truck called SkinnyWheels because "I don't want something fattening, and I don't want a sandwich that will send me into a carb coma." (Really?)

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