Friday, July 8, 2011

Not That Kind Of Girl, by Siobhan Vivian

Not That Kind Of GirlNot That Kind Of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's almost always the case that how much I like a book depends on how much I like the MC, and Natalie Sterling is pretty hard to like. She definitely has a major stick up her butt, no question about it. She might even be proud to have you make note of that, in a smug, NPR know it all-ish sort of way, while pretending to be offended. So, it really takes some good writing to portray her in a way that makes her likeable, without lots of interior monologue or other heavy handed devices demonstrating that she's not really like that, or she's like that, but here's why. But her loyalty to her friends (even if misguided), her determination (even if it's based on unrealistic self demands), her vulnerability, and ultimately her bravery, eventually (it didn't really take that long, either) made her extremely appealing to me. And when she inevitably just can't carry the weight of the world anymore, her epiphany and how she deals with things falling apart for her was quite affecting for me. Siobhan Vivian made me care about Natalie, even when I didn't especially like her, and make me feel protective of her, too, even when she was dead set on a foolish course of action with a preordained bad end. The supporting characters were great, too. Autumn, Natalie's bff since before forever, and Spencer, the wenchy freshman Natalie used to babysit, are well drawn and move both the plot, and Natalie's growth, forward. Connor, the boy, isn't really a bad boy, even though Natalie seems to think so, and her inability to accept that is just one more irritating thing about her. I would even put him on a list of top YA bf's, he's certainly patient, forgiving and mature for a super hunkster. So, this is a bit more of a reaction than a review, and just to sum it up, I really enjoyed this, and was touched and satisfied when it ended.

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