Sunday, October 31, 2010
Book Review: Not That Kind of Girl
Not That Kind of Girl (2010) by Siobhan Vivian
Inside Jacket: Life is about choices, and Natalie Sterling prides herself on making the right ones. She's avoided the jerky guys populating her prep school, always topped honor roll, and is poised to be the first female student council president in years. If only other girls were as sensible and strong. Like the pack of freshman yearning to be the football players' playthings. Or her best friend, whose crappy judgment nearly ruined her life. But being sensible and strong isn't easy. Not when Natalie nearly gets expelled anyway. Not when her advice hurts more than it helps. Not when a boy she once dismissed becomes the boy she can't stop thinking about. The line between good and bad has gone fuzzy, and crossing it could end in disaster...or become the best choice she'll ever make.
Review: So many other bloggers have highlighted the best parts of this book more eloquently than I can, so I'll keep it short. The best thing about this book is the way it explores the complexity of feminism and empowerment. I really like the concept for the novel and enjoyed it as a story, but I honestly wasn't that moved by it. I bought it expecting to really like it--a lot--but I ended up having a shoulder-shrug reaction to it, and that surprised me. I also don't care for the title or the cover--in fact, I avoided picking it up for a long time because of the cover. I find it to be generic and forgettable. I understand the title plays off the double standard/stereotype of who "that girl" is, but it's a title I find easy to pass over. That said, I would still recommend this book because I think it addresses important issues--using a main character with reasonable flaws and contradictions to explore those issues--that many readers are possibly facing themselves.