170 specialty shops later...
The Harvard Crimson has posted updates on the plagiarism allegations, as well as additional instances they found of similarities in Megan McCafferty's trilogy and How Opal Mehta...etc.
I don't really want to comment on the allegations any more, as a fellow writer. Enough people will do that.
But here's another important question. One interesting similarity between the two books is the joke about "170 specialty shops later"... Besides the fact that the wording is similar, there's another question to ask: Since both characters live in NJ, if they were talking about a real mall, which North Jersey mall would they be talking about?
As a North Jerseyan myself, I just had to solve this important riddle.
Well, Opal refers to "the Plaza," which I guess is Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus.
But if you go by 170 shops, it might just be the uber-swanky Short Hills Mall! Here's what the mall website says:
Nowhere else in the world can you find such an oasis of luxury shopping under one roof. This one stop shopping destination includes over 170 specialty stores and restaurants including Cartier, Chanel, Crate & Barrel, Dior, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Legal Sea Foods, Louis Vuitton, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co. and anchors Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. Over 40 boutiques have their only New Jersey location at The Mall at Short Hills, the region's preeminent shopping center.
Malls across the country offer different denominations of "specialty stores" and "specialty shops", like 150, 160, 170...and the Menlo Park Mall in Central Jersey also boasts 170. AND of course, it may have been a number picked at random by McCafferty.
This discussion was pretty pointless, but hey, so's the blog!!! Now, go buy Carrie Pilby. Yeah.