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Ten Girls to Watch: A Novel

Ten Girls to Watch: A Novel

4.4 9
by Charity Shumway

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A radiant debut novel about stumbling through the early years of adulthoodand a love letter to the role models who light the way.

Like so many other recent graduates, Dawn West is trying to make her way in New York City. She’s got an ex-boyfriend she can’t quite stop seeing, a roommate who views rent checks and basic hygiene


A radiant debut novel about stumbling through the early years of adulthoodand a love letter to the role models who light the way.

Like so many other recent graduates, Dawn West is trying to make her way in New York City. She’s got an ex-boyfriend she can’t quite stop seeing, a roommate who views rent checks and basic hygiene as optional, and a writing career that’s gotten as far as penning an online lawn care advice column.

So when Dawn lands a job tracking down the past winners of Charm magazine’s “Ten Girls to Watch” contest, she’s thrilled. After all, she’s being paid to interview hundreds of fascinating women: once outstanding college students, they have gone on to become mayors, opera singers, and air force pilots. As Dawn gets to know their life stories, she’ll discover that success, love, and friendship can be found in the most unexpected of places. Most importantly, she’ll learn that while those who came before us can be role models, ultimately, we each have to create our own happy ending.

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Atria Books
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Meet the Author

Charity Shumway received an MFA in Creative Writing from Oregon State University and a BA in English from Harvard University. After graduate school, she spent nine months reporting on the 50th anniversary of Glamour’s "Top Ten College Women" contest. Her writing has appeared in Glamour, Ladies Home Journal, Fitness, and Garden Design, and her short fiction has been honored by Glimmer Train and Slice magazine, among others. She lives with her husband in Brooklyn, New York. 

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Ten Girls to Watch: A Novel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It's funny and uplifting, while still tackling some weighty issues. I think it perfectly captured what it feels like to be in your early twenties and so unsure of where life is going to take you and how you're ever going to become the person you want to be. And because it incorporates the stories of older, wiser women, I think older readers will enjoy it too (I gave it to my grandmother and she loved it as well!). Highly recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am looking forward to Charity Shumway's next novel! TGTW was fun and involving. I found myself staying up much too late, to read another chapter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked this up as a summer pool read, but found myself reading it late into the evenings. Although I am old enough to be Dawn West's mom, stories about that special time between college and adulthood still captivate me. TGTW captures the conflicts of that time perfectly; the jobs, the ex, the new guy, the roommate, the living situation... Dawn's story is woven into her interviews with all of the overachievers' accomplishments. But instead of feeling depressed about her career, Dawn finds inspiration and wisdom in her interviews. I found some inspiration too!
ayaAA More than 1 year ago
Funny, uplifting, girl-in-the-big-city novel with real heart and depth. Charity Shumway is a writer to watch. 
BeachRead245 More than 1 year ago
I met Charity at the Decatur Book Festival. She shared the stage with Claire Cook during their session. Ten Girls to Watch is her debut novel. I have a signed copy to giveaway. Synopsis: Dawn West has graduated from college and recently broken up with her boyfriend Robert. She thought about law school but has decided to give writing a try. The annual party that is thrown by Robert’s parents and his new girlfriend Lily has invited her to go. Should Dawn go? The answer is yes because Lily who is Robert’s current girlfriend introduces her to Regina the Editor and Chief of Charm. Regina has an assignment for Dawn to interview and pick the top then from the years of the Charm competition Ten Girls to Watch. She cannot her believe her luck! Can she complete the job? My Thoughts: When I first heard about this novel; I didn’t think I would be interested. The author Charity writes for Glamour magazine and she based the story off of an actual competition that Glamour runs every year. I actually really liked this novel. Dawn has her quirks and sometimes I would want to give her advice feel. She is also very needy for male attention. I was a little uncomfortable with Lily initially but loved her by the end of the novel. The women who are described at the beginning of these chapters are very interesting! The chapters begin with a picture of that woman and a little blurb about that year’s charm winner. I felt the author did a great job of creating these unique women. I can’t wait to see if we might hear more from Dawn?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MTDIVA More than 1 year ago
This novel begins with Dawn West landing a job with a popular glossy magazine called "Charm" Dawn's grandiose expectations are shattered when she learns that the job will only be temp, and that her office is located in the sub-basement of an older building in a dodgy area of New York. Her assignment is to locate past winners of the magazine's presigious "Ten Girls To Watch". Dawn will interview and compile the necesary information of these women for an upcoming gala 5oth anniversay celebration. Each past winner has unique talents that have contributed to success. We read how how Dawn grows and matures through life's lessons, many a direct result of this temp job. I personally took longer than usual to finish this book. It is written with intense passion. It took me back to a time in my life where I experienced and related to many of the things that Dawn had to face. This is a dynamite debut from an up and coming author. Charity Shumway has captured a place in time many women will relate to and I highly recommend this engaging read! The character development is outstanding, and book clubs will find so much to discuss. I can envision another novel that features Dawn and the main cast of characters! In any event, be on the lookout for this author!
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A perfect chick lit book for the summer reading season - light and fun, but not too fluffy. Dawn West has been living in NYC and trying to get into the publishing industry in any capacity. While at a party with her ex boyfriend and his new girlfriend, she runs into the editor of Charm magazine; put on a project that will take her into the past of some significant women she learns that there are many paths to success.
csingh More than 1 year ago
Dawn West was going to be a lawyer, but her dream of being a writer was stronger, and now at 23, she's living in New York City, unemployed. She's just recently found out that the man she once thought she was going to marry, Robert, has moved on with the perfect girl, Lily. What she can't figure out is why the two keep torturing her by having her over or inviting her to parties. At one such party, Lily introduces Dawn to the editor of the magazine Charm, and Dawn ends up with a job! Dawn is tasked with responsibility with tracking down the previous winners of Charm's "Ten Girls to Watch" for a retrospective, 50 years after the contest was first started. Dealing with her own heartbreak, fear of being unemployed, and overwhelmed by the accomplishments of past winners, Dawn starts with her monumental task. As Dawn interacts with these amazing women, she slowly begins to learn from their experiences, especially that not everything happens as expected, but that she is ultimately responsible for her own happiness. Dawn is a great person. Her situation describes a majority of recent college graduates and so she's really easy to relate to. Dawn is funny, sweet, and nice. I was really intrigued and impressed by the pictures of the past winners at the start of each chapter. It made them and the contest seem all that much more real and added more depth to the story. And the opening chapter is killer. Once I started reading, I could not stop until I had finished the book. There are a number of twists in the story that are unexpected, but great. The story is great and inspirational too, and not just for Dawn. The only thing that could have made this book better is a happily ever after, but I think this book has the perfect ending. Anything else, would have made this book too sweet. This book has just the right mix of comedy and drama. When I finished the book and put it down, I was a little teary eyed, and had this sense of longing to do something, to be like Dawn or the women who had won the title of "Ten Girls to Watch," and I'm sure you will too. Ten Girls to Watch is Charity Shumway's debut novel. It was inspired by her work for Glamour's "Top Ten College Women" contest. She spent nine months working on this project for the 50th anniversary of the article. Charity's writing has been published by a wide variety of magazines like Fitness, Ladies Home Journal, and Garden Design. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband. With such an amazing debut, this is one author to keep an eye out for the future!