Mormon memoir leads readers to anaylze themselves

Jessica M. Upchurch, Entertainment Reviewer

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I don’t care what anybody says, people judge books by their covers. If you have a boring cover, it will be overlooked. How else are the masses going to pick out one book from thousands? Heaven forbid we do any research.

In congruency with the cover, I would also say that titles make quite an impression as well, so it is not a wonder that I picked up “The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance,” a memoir by Elna Baker, published by A Plume Book. Seeing a title like that, I could hardly resist.

Elna Baker, born a Mormon and raised in a very Mormon family, moves to New York in order to be an actress. Recently skinny and looking for love, her faith and sanity come into question numerous times, specifically when she finds herself dating an atheist. Throughout the novel, she tells stories of her first loves and one-night kisses and of the lessons learned along the way. Her quirky sense of humor and hand-drawn charts keep the book interesting and fun.

This novel would more likely be relatable to women because of the romantic adventures and self-image issues that Edna experiences. While reading this memoir, I caught myself thinking many times about past situations where compromises were made and self-evaluation, unfortunately, took place.

This book also makes the reader think about what he or she believes in. A few of Edna’s charts follow her thoughts over a few years on general things such as religion. Several times in the book, Edna must ask and answer rather important life questions. When she asks, the reader cannot help but think of his or her own answer.

Regretfully, I must submit to the previously mentioned maxim. This book was entertaining, but the title and cover promised more than it could deliver.

In order to read a memoir and enjoy it, you have to get along with the narrator. Elna and I did not get along very well. She is an interesting woman who has plenty of interesting thoughts, but she constantly acted silly and inexcusably immature.

Some readers may be able to look past this, but I could not. In effect, the book dragged on longer than it should have. A few awkward situations are hilarious, but eventually, it gets annoying.

Finish reading whatever you have already; pick up this book if you want to console yourself by reading about a girl who’s just as lost as you.

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