Today, our Flashback Wednesday pick is Sarah Strohmeyer's Smart Girls Get What They Want.
Flashback Wednesday is where we review books which are already out for more than a year.
Hardcover, 348 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
So it's no secret that we love Sarah Strohmeyer at the Reading Nook. Strohmeyer is funny, witty and just an absolute delight to read.
(She's also hilarious on twitter, if you're looking for someone to follow).
So when it came to choosing the inaugural review for our blog, we immediately decided to go with our review of Strohmeyer's latest book, How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True (April 2013, Balzer & Bray).
But now, we also want to point you in the direction of Strohmeyer's first YA book, Smart Girls Get What They Want. It's how we found out about Strohmeyer's writing for the first time, and we believe that others will love this book as much as we did!
Here's the synopsis from Goodreads:
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 has always stayed behind the scenes--until now.
These friends are determined to show the world that smart girls really can get what they want--but that could mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for. . . .
What can we say? We loved this book.
The characters are smart, funny and just completely real. If we had this book around when we were in high school, we would have probably recommended it to everyone we knew.
Here's one of our reviewer's original reviews:
Like many of the other reviewers, "Smart Girls..." is a book I wish I had been able to read in high school. It would have done a lot to encourage me to embrace my "nerdy" side, and made me realize just how truly awesome it is to BE a smart girl.
Gigi, Bea and Neerja are three best friends going into their sophomore year of high school. After a change encounter with Neerja's older sister's yearbook, they're determined to make it through the year (and the rest of their time in high school) by remaining true to their smart selves, but still making the best possible time of their other high school experiences.
* Gigi runs for school board, despite having a crippling fear of speaking in public.
* Bea joins the ski time, despite some initial family disapproval - though they have a good reason! - and regains her love of the sport.
* Neerja (and Gigi) audition for the school play, where Neerja finds out that what she always wanted, isn't where she's necessarily needed.
(That's deliberately vague, because I don't want to spoil multiple plotlines!)
While there are the typical YA inclusion of cute boys and thoughts of dating, this isn't why I loved this book.
Instead, I loved this book because of the certainty that Gigi shows throughout the book. She knows that even if things aren't always going according to plan, she is smart. She isclever. She believes in herself, and I think that's a very important lesson for girls to take away today.
In a time when the self-confidence of teens can be destroyed with one single Facebook post, Gigi's absolute confidence in herself is a good, reassuring message.
I also absolutely loved Gigi's friendship with Bea and Neerja. Even if they sometimes fight and don't agree with each other's decisions, they always put each other first. Gigi actually turns down a date with another character, because she doesn't want Bea to go to an event alone. How's that for loyalty and true friendship?
Finally, the writing itself is just clever and hilarious as hell. Sarah Strohmeyer has a way of observing what most would consider casual interactions between people, and turning them into hilarious observations about people and life. I especially loved her observations/relationship with her grandmother and mother.
Final verdict: I recommend this book for everyone. But I especially recommend this book for parents with younger girls, who may be heading off into high school. This book will be a good read for them to show that smart girls can get what they want.
Go check out Smart Girls now, and don't forget to get How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True when it comes out!