So Sweet and Cute!
I don't know about your
high school, but in my school it wasn't cool to be smart. The popular kids were solid "B" or "C" students who didn't take advanced classes. I remember lying about my test grades a time or two due to embarrassment that they set the curve.
So when I came across a Goodreads friend's review of Smart Girls Get What They Want
, I was definitely intrigued. Can smart girls have boyfriends and fun social lives too?
Gigi is a 10th grader who spends all her time with her bffs Bea (who's red-headed and feisty) and Neerja (who's Indian and calm). They enjoy their somewhat nerdy obsession with getting into an Ivy League university until they run across Neerja's older sister Parad's 12th grade yearbook, which nobody has signed. Parad is brilliant but doesn't appear to have any high school friends, which appalls the three girls. Is that how they'll end up?
So they set out to create more balanced lives and run into many hijinks along the way. It all starts when Gigi and Mike Ipolito (a lacrosse player who somehow attends the same AP classes as Gigi) get accused of cheating on their AP Chemistry test. Mike claims he has secured a scholarship to Amherst (one detail that's incorrect in this book--there are no athletic scholarships to Ivy League schools) so he seems unfazed by the accusation, but Gigi freaks out that her future is ruined.
The kooky principal makes Gigi and Mike collaborate on a presentation of the Periodic Table as a means of proving their knowledge (the poor things--that sounds like an AWFUL assignment to me). At first Gigi thinks Mike is a dumb jock mooch but perhaps there's more than meets the eye for this cocky boy with brown eyes and shaggy brown hair.
Meanwhile, hottie Justin moves to Boston from California, and he seems to have a thing for Gigi of all people. School plays, ski team, and dances all line up in this fun coming-of-age story.
I really enjoyed Gigi's voice. She's funny and endearing.Parad was the type who carefully saved her tests in color-coded files. (Love her!)It was like their parents couldn't do enough for Parad now that she'd made the Ivy League. They let her drive their new Mercedes...and never asked her to babysit the eight-year-old twins, Shiva and Shari, who we secretly nicknamed Thing One and Thing Two."What I'm saying," I went on, "is nothing worthwhile comes easy." I'd read that somewhere. Maybe on the back of the Pop-Tarts box "This is probably the advantage of being stupid. Stupid people just do. We tend to overthink."Today Neerja's mom was wearing a bright pink shalwar under a kameez of purple etched in gold and matching pink. I think it is totally unfair that the rest of us don't get to wear these. I would kill to walk around all day in flowing purple and pink lounge wear.She usually fell for the brooding artists, like Rolf the German exchange student, skinny pale guys in black leather jeans whose pain the rest of us mortals couldn't begin to fathom.
And when Gigi has an angst-ridden moment like this, I swear she lives inside my head:I focused on the passing houses filled with couples who'd somehow survived this teenage craziness of he-like-her-but-she-likes-another-guy-who-likes-somebody-else. How did they do it? How did they end up in their golden, warm, and cozy living rooms with their 2.3 children and dogs and cats? Because getting from where I was to where they were seemed millions of light-years away.
I smiled so much at the ending that I didn't even mind the lack of realism involved in the resolution to the school budget cut crisis. This is my first read by [a:Sarah Strohmeyer|26791|Sarah Strohmeyer|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1333203308p2/26791.jpg] and it won't be my last.