Monday, February 7, 2011

BR: Not That Kind of Girl

by Siobhan Vivian

I really shouldn't start a book when I'm in bed, this point becomes glaringly obvious as I flip the last page and look at the clock, it's 3:45 AM!!

Summary (goodreads)

Natalie Sterling wants to be in control. She wants her friends to be loyal. She wants her classmates to elect her student council president. She wants to find the right guy, not the usual jerk her school has to offer. She wants a good reputation, because she believes that will lead to good things.

But life is messy, and it's very hard to be in control of it. Not when there are freshman girls running around in a pack, trying to get senior guys to sleep with them. Not when your friends have secrets they're no longer comfortable sharing. Not when the boy you once dismissed ends up being the boy you wants to sleep with yourself - but only in secret, with nobody ever finding out.

Slut or saint? Winner or loser? Natalie is getting tired of these forced choices - and is now going to find a way to live life in the sometimes messy, sometimes wonderful in-between.

**
My Expectations: I've heard mostly positive things, I saw a review at Persnickety Snark that made me want to read it. Plus lots of bloggers I love gave it 5 stars.

Delivery: Wow, it was freaking addicting and freaking good!

Put-down-ability: did you see my intro? I couldn't stop if I wanted, 1/10
**

My Thoughts

Not That Kind of Girl bundles of so many things into a ball of energy and awesome, and I say that in the fondest way possible. Natalie Sterling is who would be a foil or even the antagonist in the plenty of YA contemp novels, I mean she’s the determined and controlling straight-A student, Student Council president and uptight to the tenth degree. She’s so strong in her personal beliefs that it is both an advantage and hindrance for her, but that’s only the beginning as her ideals starts to unravel.

Vivian crafted a dynamic story that beautifully reflects the ups and downs of a character under pressure to do the right thing and project an image of perfection in a high school scene. Natalie isn't shielded from the consequenes of her own actions, and what makes this book work is that realism. Natalie isn't immune to flaws and neither is any other character in the book.

The themes of feminism shine through in a subtle manner. Natalie and Spencer have opposite opinions when it comes to some aspects of feminism, especially female sexuality. Character foils are used to explore feminism in the novel but I’m eternally grateful that it never turned into a preachy message-- it was done with finesse.

I felt the pacing in this book was well done because it had the potential to drag on since it lacks explosions, but the author kept things reigned in tightly and carefully avoided dreadful pothole clich├ęs. The romance could have ended up ridiculously predictable, and I was so glad it didn't. The plot itself is nothing spectacular, but I felt through 3-dimensional characters and sharp writing; this novel can hold its own against even the best in the genre.

Not That Kind of Girl is a novel that many teens can relate to, it is a novel about insecurities and finding your place, exploring who you are and change, about image and hypocrisy and feminism and so much more. It’s about the boxes and labels people are shoved in only for everyone to find out the box must’ve been mislabelled. It’s about ‘that kind of girl’… wait, what kind of girl is ‘that kind of girl’??

Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: All female YA readers, contemporary fans
Acknowledgements: Hmm, 1.5/5

9/10 – because I really loved so many things about this novel, namely the characters. Vivian does a fantastic job navigating the tricky holds of high school, relationships, sexuality, and personal growth. She has created well-rounded characters that I could just read about all night long, and might I mention that I seriously couldn’t put this book down? Not That Kind of Girl is a somewhat underrated read that I really think contemporary fans shouldn’t miss out on.







source: library
author twitter /
website

11 comments:

  1. Okay, I need to get my hands on this! Definitely a fan of well rounded characters that keep you up all night. Great review :)

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  2. Great review! I really want to read this one, now. I have heard of it and it always caught my attention.

    Thanks for sharing :)

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  3. Thanks for your review !! I really have to buy this one !! The cover looks so cute ... =)

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  4. Oh, I hate (read: love) when that happens. The book you plan on starting just to get to sleep ends up keeping you awake all night. ;)

    I've seen the cover for this one around but I haven't really stopped to read anything about it. What kind of girl is ‘that kind of girl'? Now I'm super curious to find out.

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  5. yay for NTKOG love! This book (and your review) is so awufoaeisnAWESOME.

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  6. I had the same late night/early morning reading experience last night reading Anna and the French Kiss. :) And I totally gushed about Not that Kind of Girl last month. Natalie is not the kind of character we see a lot of in YA, but her strength, drive, and intelligence are all qualities that so many college-bound gals can relate to. I also loved the differing views on female sexuality from overtly sexual Spencer and slightly prudish Natalie - like you said, not preachy at all but definitely food for thought.

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  7. haha, this was already on my TBR list, but your review made me want to read it now!!! It sounds really cute! Thanks for the great review!I loved all the gushing :)

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  8. Great review! Now I really want to read this!!!

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  9. This book sounds so good great review!

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  10. you COMPLETELY don't know JUST HOW MUCH YOU HAVE MADE ME WANT THIS BOOK. Like NOW!

    I was hanging out for the paperback release ~ but, ahhh, don't know if I'll last. I'm really craving a good book like this right now!

    LOVED your review.

    xo Nomes

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  11. Nic- YES, I think youi'll really like it! :)

    Zoe- I hope you try it!

    Elodie- hehe, Yeah, that cover is something, isn't it ;)

    Missie- Oh, i do hope you get a chance to read it, it's such an awesome contemp :)

    Khy- WOOT!!

    NatalieSap- Yes Yes Yes. I really loved the way the author compared the two contrasting characters, and their views on feminism :) And oh god, I can't wait to read Anna :)

    Katie- Yeah! Awesome, glad my gushing pays off! xD

    Carol- thank you!

    latishajean- it is, and thanks! :)

    Nomes- HAHA Oh it is just wonderful!! I'm so glad you liked my review, thanks for your super enthusiastic comment, and I can't wait to hear what you think of it when you get a chance to read it :)

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DFTBA :)
for those who are confused, it means "Don't forget to be AWESOME". *hugs*