Book Review: A Shore Thing by Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi

Posted on February 7, 2011

Snooki’s debut novel delights and entertains.

A great novel has many things: Fleshed out and dynamic characters, a true sense of geography and zeitgeist, writing that draws you in and keeps you turning pages; most important, though, it must be fun. ‘A Shore Thing‘ has all this and more.

Bella is a lost soul. She is just 21, free of her long-term boyfriend. Although family is the most important thing to her, she hasn’t spoken to her father in years. Along with her cousin Gia, they decide to spend the summer on the Jersey Shore.

Not only are the girls on the lookout for new hot boyfriends (the major theme of the novel), but they need jobs. Luckily Bella is athletic and quickly lands a job at a local gym, first doing personal training and then teaching classes. What she didn’t plan on was falling in love with the hunky owner, Tony.

Gia’s story is much more complicated than that. At first she lands a lackluster gig at a tanning salon. After an incident on the beach where she yells ‘Don’t bite me, bitch’ at a shark, she goes viral. She was wearing a shirt for her salon in the video, which brings in tons of business. After she burns down her kitchen, meeting a ‘juicehead’ (Juicehead is good. Ideal, even.) firefighter, Frankie, in the process, she moves into a hotel with her cousin. The hotel is comped as long as she brings in business, which she does, with style.

This is only the beginning. There is a high school rivalry, an attempt on Bella’s honor and jello shots laced with laxatives. I would go so far as to say that this book has more references to body shots per page than any other work in the literary canon.

Convoluted plots aside, what truly stands out in Snooki’s debut work of fiction is the prose. On nearly every page there was a turn of phrase or description that, quite literally, made me laugh out loud. This book ruined my sleep schedule for the rest of the week because I had to stay up and finish it. Snooki has a very creative voice and it cuts through every corner of the book. There is consistency of metaphor, thematic development (Gia = fire) and a thin adherence to the hero-arch. The word ‘like’ used as participle only three times, to great effect.

‘A Shore Thing’ is a novel that could only exist in this weird part of space time. The ‘Jersey-chic’ phase will only last for so long, and it is truly great to experience this female coming of age on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.

If you had asked me two weeks ago that my favorite book of 2011, so far, would be ‘A Shore Thing‘, I would have scoffed. Jonathan Franzen tries to capture the essence of America, but Snooki’s book is the best I have seen at telling what it means to be an urban 20-something who is trying to find their place in this crazy country.


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One Response to “Book Review: A Shore Thing by Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi”

  1. Tweets that mention Book Review: A Shore Thing by Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi : Who gave Heath a blog? -- on February 7th, 2011 1:59 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Trident Media Group, Heath Gordon. Heath Gordon said: As promised, my review of Snooki's debut novel, 'A Shore Thing': [...]

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