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Review - Smart Girls Get What They Want

Friday, June 22, 2012
Smart Girls Get What They Want
by Sarah Strohmeyer

Publication: June 26, 2012
Pages: 352
Author: Website | Twitter
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Buy it: Amazon | KindleB&N | Book Depository

Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are best friends and total overachievers. Even if they aren’t the most popular girls in school, they aren’t too worried. They know their real lives will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. There will be ivy, and there will be cute guys in the libraries (hopefully with English accents)! But when an unexpected event shows them they’re missing out on the full high school experience, it’s time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. They make a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge—and they will totally rock it.

Gigi decides to run for student rep, but she’ll have to get over her fear of public speaking—and go head-to-head with gorgeous California Will. Bea used to be one of the best skiers around, until she was derailed. It could be time for her to take the plunge again. And Neerja loves the drama club but always stayed behind the scenes—until now.

These friends are determined to show that smart girls get what they want—but that could mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for...

Gigi and her friends are the hero(oine)s of smart girls! At last, there is a contemporary read where the smart girls take the spotlight. Not to say that there aren't other smart girls or girls who are smart in other ways. This is a book that focuses on the fact that the main characters are smart girls and how they go about finding popularity while maintaining their studies. Other unique features of the book: one of Gigi's friends (Neerja) is Indian (go ethnic diversity!) and Gigi's grandmother is French and uses French.

I adore Gigi's character. She's an overachiever like Bea and Neerja, and she relates thermodynamics to the hair-styling process. She has a great sense of humor and good taste in books. A smart girl who also loves Anna and the French Kiss = win. One day, she wakes up and realizes that if she spend all of her time studying, she won't have a social life. I went through a similar stage--also in my sophomore year of high school, now that I think about it--so I can relate. It was the year that I began trying to talk to people more instead of studying all the time, and I picked up my first "fun reading book" in years. Gigi's progress takes time as well, though she manages to find herself by the end of the school year with the help of her best friends and a chemistry project she's forced into with a jock.

Although Gigi didn't want to leave high school without any memories, it takes an almost suspension to set plans into motion. It also makes the principal aware that students didn't view themselves quite as equals, as Gigi looks down on jocks and the jocks think she's out of their league. There are also the students who don't get smart people at all. I love this angle to the story. It's very real and applicable to high school life today. I knew students who were better at sports than studies, but my high-school valedictorian was part of the band and was pretty into sports. A physics and computer science nerd at my school was on the football team. People shouldn't be labelled just by the groups they hang out with, and it's something that Gigi will learn when she realizes that she's been overlooking a hot sweetie with brains hiding under a a jock-ish exterior.

Smart Girls Get What They Want plays on the social stereotypes that we see in too many schools today and shows how people aren't always what they seem to be on the surface. The story is light and filled with humor, as Gigi struggles to overcome her fear of public speaking and find her niche in the school where she'll be remembered, and her friends undergo similar experiences. The story is light, cute, and filled with humor. It is about friendship, branching out, and speaking up. There is romance, but it is secondary to the girls' plans to succeed in something other than their studies. I recommend this to those looking for a fun contemporary read with depth to it and a memorable cast of characters.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
16 comments on "Review - Smart Girls Get What They Want"
  1. I really like the title of this book and after seeing some reviews I have become much more interested in reading it-I am a sucker for a fun contemporary!

    1. I love the title as well. A fun contemporary that's pulled off well always makes my day, and Strohmeyer has a refreshing voice for YA lit.

  2. I like the sound of this book. I found it amazing to books about typical stereotypes.

  3. I love how all the characters have to rethink their prejudices and perceived stereotypes!

    The romance sounds really good, and about how appearances don't have anything to do with personality.

    This review is excellent!

  4. Gigi sounds like my type of character. And her overcoming her fear of public speaking is just what I have to do this year. Yeah. She sounds awesome. :D

  5. Nice review!! I think many people will be able to relate to this book based on your review which is great! Read this yesterday and loved (: Glad you felt the same!

  6. I love books that aim to destroy stereotypes while still being a light funny read. Great review!

  7. The title draws you in but the story sounds like it keeps you there! I think both my daughter and I would like this book!

    Thanks for the great review!

  8. This sounds so good, I like that there are so many different povs.

  9. This looks really interesting! Thank you for the awesome giveaway and great review.

  10. I love the sound of this book. Something that's completely realistic, and many of us have gone through. Definitely a great topic to expand on.

  11. This book sounds really interesting and this Gigi character does sound likable :)

  12. This book looks really good! I've read Strohmeyer's book "The Sleeping Beauty Proposal" and thought it was really cute, so I can't wait to eventually read this one! :)


  13. This book looks adorable and superb! Fabulous review! I need to get my hands on this one.

  14. I like the premise examining social stereotypes within the school and seeing the characters progress in self-awareness.


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