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Friday, July 13, 2018

REVIEW: The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall @stmartinspress @susieschnall @netgalley

The Subway Girls
by Susie Orman Schnall

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Griffin for this adorable story.
A look into the history of The Subway Girls via two women who fight to find their independence, love and ambition.

Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin
Publish Date:  July 10, 2018
Kindle Edition
Genre: Historical Fiction

In 1949, dutiful and ambitious Charlotte's dream of a career in advertising is shattered when her father demands she help out with the family business. Meanwhile, Charlotte is swept into the glamorous world of the Miss Subways beauty contest, which promises irresistible opportunities with its Park Avenue luster and local fame status. But when her new friend—the intriguing and gorgeous fellow-participant Rose—does something unforgivable, Charlotte must make a heart-wrenching decision that will change the lives of those around her forever.
Nearly 70 years later, outspoken advertising executive Olivia is pitching the NYC subways account in a last ditch effort to save her job at an advertising agency. When the charismatic boss she’s secretly in love with pits her against her misogynistic nemesis, Olivia’s urgent search for the winning strategy leads her to the historic Miss Subways campaign. As the pitch date closes in on her, Olivia finds herself dealing with a broken heart, an unlikely new love interest, and an unexpected personal connection to Miss Subways that could save her job—and her future.
My Review:
I used to think historical fiction was my least favorite genre.  I'm being proved wrong over and over again these days, which makes me happy that I've expanded my diversity in reading.  Turns out, I'm just not a fan of historical fiction that reads like a history textbook or spends too much time trying to teach me a lesson.  
Luckily, the The Subway Girls, the author journeys us back to 1949 through Charlotte's eyes and then to present day 2018, through Olivia's eyes.  Both women trying to find a balance between love, ambition and the hindrances that come with each.  We see that throughout the decades, not much really changes when it comes to trying to strive what you want without doing it at the expense of your own self.  And by that I mean, finding a balance and compromise that makes you happy. Don't we all want this ultimately?
I loved reading about Olivia and Charlotte.  There's subtle Mad Men/Penny Olson vibes with the advertising agency and a woman just trying to be taken seriously.  Regardless of how forward we've moved as a society (and seem to be regressing rapidly these days unfortunately), we still have issues with women being taken seriously over men in the same positions.  We have made great strides though as well, which we should all take into account.  Realize that our actions today may not seem like they make much of a dent but like I've learned, even the tiniest things are noticed by SOMEONE, whether you think so or not.  So try and do as right as you can.  I KNOW it can be difficult, and I certainly have a mouth on me, but move forward and realize, as it's noted in this novel, that are problems really aren't as big as they may seem at the time.  Change the frame of what you see around you and note that the world doesn't stop for ANYONE.
Well, that certainly was a ramble.  🤣 Please also take the time to read the little history lesson that you do get at the end of the book about the real Subway Girls and the impact they made on the world.  I am pleasantly surprised at how happy all of this made me. 
An absolutely adorable novel.

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