Sunday, July 29, 2012

Review: Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

Smart Girls Get What They Want 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. . . .

My Review:

Smart Girls Get What They Want is a cute story of friendship, love, and trying new things.  The characters and story are well-developed, and I loved it.


The three friends (smart girls) that the book focuses on are Gigi, Neerja, and Bea.  The story is told in Gigi's POV, so it focuses on her the most, while letting the other two also play a role.  Gigi has a horrible fear of public speaking, yet she decides to try out for the school play and run for student representative of the school board.  She chooses to run for office because she has been wrongly accused of cheating, and she wants to remove the accusation from her record.  As she campaigns, she finds there are other reasons for her to be running.  She discovers much in her quest to win the student election.  Neerja decides to try out for Romeo and Juliet to get near the guy she likes, Justin.  She doesn't do so well at auditions, and as the story progresses, she discovers she may be in love with a different guy.  Bea decides to join the ski team since she used to ski, and Gigi joins to support Bea.  Bea is actually a good skier, but Gigi isn't.  She is the worst skier on the team, but she gets better as the book goes on.

There are two boys vying for Gigi's attention in the book.  One is Mike, who Gigi has been accused of cheating off of on a test.  She thinks he isn't really smart, and she is sure he cheated off her.  She manages to insult his intelligence several times.  He loves to tease her by calling her Einstein, which I thought was adorable.  The other guy is Will.  It is clear that he actually likes Gigi, but at the same time, he still has a girlfriend back in California, where he came from.  He is not a bad guy, yet he is not as good for Gigi as Mike is.  Will is Gigi's opponent for student representative, and he has a much different opinion on the budget cuts than she does.

If you like cute YA contemporary, read this book.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

What I Didn't Say Getting drunk homecoming night your senior year is never a good idea, but Jake Hayes never expected it all to end with a car crash and a t-post embedded in his throat.

His biggest regret about it all? What he never said to Samantha Shay. He's been in love with her for years and never had the guts to tell her. Now it's too late. Because after that night, Jake will never be able to talk again.

When Jake returns to his small island home, population 5,000, he'll have to learn how to deal with being mute. He also finds that his family isn't limited to his six brothers and sisters, that sometimes an entire island is watching out for you. And when he gets the chance to spend more time with Samantha, she'll help him learn that not being able to talk isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Maybe, if she'll let him, Jake will finally tell her what he didn't say before, even if he can't actually say it.

My Review:
Thanks to Netgalley and Keary Taylor for giving me a e-copy of What I Didn't Say.  I absolutely loved this book.  It is a sweet story of family, love, and getting past obstacles in life.  I read almost all of it in one sitting.


Jake is a great character.  The story is told in his first person POV.  After he gets into a crash homecoming night and destroys his voice box, he learns he will never speak again.  This is a challenge to him, but he manages to hurdle it by finding his "paper voice."  To talk to people, he writes what he wants to say in the journals.  He also starts to learn sign language, but he can only use that around people who know sign language.  He is a strong, kind, and caring guy, but he also has a few moments of self-pity.  These seem realistic since he is going through a lot.

Samantha (Sam) is also a great character.  She is very strong, and she is hiding a secret of her own.  Her secret is that her mom died, and she is living on her own in a motorhome.  Because of all her challenges in life, she gets mad when Jake pities himself too much.  She tells him that he has food and a family.  Sam is very sweet, and she begins to let Jake help her.  When power goes out across town, he tells her to come stay at his house.  He brings over extra food for her. 

The romance between Sam and Jake is very sweet and well-developed.  Jake was going to tell her he loved her on the night of the car crash.  He regrets not getting to say this to Sam.  Both Sam and Jake had secretly had a crush on the other.  At the beginning of the story, Sam doesn't think she believes in love.  By the end, her feelings have changed since she has fallen in love with Jake.

If you like sweet YA contemporary with heavy parts, read this book.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #18: 34 Pieces of You

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

 My pick for this week is:

 34 Pieces of You
A dark and moving novel--reminiscent of "Thirteen Reasons Why--"about the mystery surrounding a teenage girl's fatal overdose.There was something about Ellie...Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance--and kept watch.

Now Ellie's dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are thirty-four clues she left behind. Thirty-four strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. Thirty-four secrets of a brief and painful life.

Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they confront the past, they will discover not only the darkest truths about themselves, but also what Ellie herself had been hiding all along....

This book sounds very interesting.  I enjoy mysteries, and it sounds like it will have some kind of mystery.  Also, it is told in multiple POV (two females and a male), and I enjoy multiple POV usually.  I have been looking for more male POV books to read recently, and one of the narrators is male.  I look forward to reading this once it's released on September 4th and discovering what secrets Ellie was hiding.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?