Tuesday, November 2, 2010

review: Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

pub date: September 1, 2010
publisher: Push
pgs: 304
source: for review at kiss the book (book reviews for school librarians)
content: some swearing, a few f-bombs, talking about sex, heavy making out, sex (not descriptive)

blurb from 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 want 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.

This is a spoilery review, so beware.
There are at least two things I need in a book to enjoy it.
First, I need a main character I like. I rather hated Natalie. It's okay if I dislike a main character to begin with, but sometime during the story I need to start liking her. I never reached that point. Natalie was mean and judgemental and super bossy and very prideful. She really got on my nerves.
Which leads me to the second thing: I want to watch a character grow. So Natalie's a jerk at the beginning, how is she going to change that? In this book she doesn't until the last 10 pages. It's when she asks herself, "What really matters here?" So she apologizes to Conner and her best friend and everything is fine. Oh, and she learns to accept herself. Really? That's all she grew? As far as I could see, she didn't change at all except in the humility department and it happened way too late in the story to redeem her in my eyes.
I actually did like Conner, but I couldn't understand what he liked about Natalie. She was so mean to him, all of the time. She uses him for a physical relationship, not wanting anything more from him. She even says it's awkward making conversation with him between kissing. Uh...that bothered me. Shouldn't it have bothered Conner, too? He likes her, but then why is he okay with Natalie wanting to keep their new relationship a secret? Why would he go along with that?
Normally this would be a book I wouldn't finish, but I just got so annoyed I needed to read the ending. So it did have that going for it--I wanted to get know how it was going to resolve. I even stayed up late to do so.

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