Blueprints for Building Better Girls

  • by Elissa Schappell
  • Narrated by Julia Whelan
  • 9 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Elissa Schappell's book delves into the lives of an eclectic cast of archetypal female characters including the high school slut, the party girl, the reluctant mother, and the anorexic daughter, twisting our pre-conceived notions of who these women are, offering surprising revelations into the nature of female identity, and how it evolves. How the adolescent girl labeled the school slut in 'Monsters of the Deep' will 20 years later become a mother in 'I'm Only Going to Tell You This Once' and, faced with daunting reality of raising a teenage son, be forced to revisit her past. Whether connected by blood, friendship, or necessity, whether living in the same city or in the imagination of others, these women will create a deep and lasting impression.

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What the Critics Say

"...raw and engaging...more textured and complicated world than is usually found in collections. This, combined with the energy of the writing and the dark wit of these characters, will endear the book to Schappell's audience and fans of Lorrie Moore and Maile Meloy." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

It got better, but not a great listen

Would you try another book from Elissa Schappell and/or Julia Whelan?

I don't think I'd listen to another book by this reader. Her voice was too immature for most of the characters and really made it hard to listen to.


Would you recommend Blueprints for Building Better Girls to your friends? Why or why not?

As a book, I think it makes for an interesting read, so yes.


What aspect of Julia Whelan’s performance would you have changed?

It was just the wrong voice for the book. The only time it felt right was when she was playing The Anorexic - spot on.


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- Ada Kardos

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-06-2011
  • Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC