The good: Pamela Ribon does bring the funny. In several places, this book is laugh-out-loud hilarious.
The bad: if you've read her website (pamie.com), you've already read many of these jokes. There's lots of new stuff...but I found myself skimming over a fair amount of material that I'd read before years earlier. My girlfriend thought the entire book was drop-dead funny from start to finish and I was painfully jealous that I couldn't have the same reaction since many of the bits were old hat to me already.
the good: The author has keen observations about modern dating and the relationships (romantic or platonic) that spawn from the internet. In some ways, it could be read as a cautionary tale about who is online. Through her web-site, the main character (Anna) attracts legions of readers, including an ex of her ex-boyfriend, a moderately disturbed girl who seems obsessed with Anna and another who, infatuated with Anna's description of her old boyfriend, sets out to make him her own.
Some of the funniest and best written parts of the book are the chain of flirting emails between Anna and a boy who lives far way that she's falling in love with. This might be the best romantic comedy dialogue (OK, truthfully it's correspondence, but it packs the emotional intensity of dialogue) that's been seen in years. This is where Why Girls are Weird really shines. The rhythm and dynamic of email relationships as presented here ring true and I don't think anyone has ever captured this in print quite so well.
For the first 100 pages or so, I found Anna depressed, slightly mean-spirited and rather unlikeable. The junkies in Trainspotting seem warm and compassionate by comparison to Anna in the first third of this book. I kept hoping she'd get a prescription for Zoloft or make some kind of positive changes and stop being so tediously self-absorbed. It's only after change does enter her life ( albeit tragically, through the death of her father) that Anna seems to wake up and becomes a sympathetic character who is invested in something other than her own troubles.
Some of the secondary characters are jarringly two dimensional. For example, her best friend and confidant comes off as little more than a quirky homosexual stereotype who spouts catty jabs or pop-culture references every third line.
Overall: it's a worthy and often clever first novel that captures the zeitgeist much like Douglas Coupland did years ago with Generation X and Microserfs.