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. . . ~From GoodReads
The first thing that comes to my mind after reading SMART GIRLS GET WHAT THEY WANT is Girl Power. What a great example for the tween and teen girls out there!
Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are three besties with one common goal: to be at the top of their class, go to a prestigious school where they will live a scholarly existence among their own kind, complete with intellectual hotties. They are perfectly content to fly under the radar at their school until the day they realize that their dedication has also earned them invisibility among their classmates. The three then set out on a quest to challenge themselves, to step out of their comfort zone and really live the high school experience. Along the way, though, these girls learn a lot of lessons about life and love.
SMART GIRLS is entirely told from Gigi's view point. She was obviously a brainiac, but the girl had a great ironic sense of humor, and that made her so much fun to read. She is very matter-of-fact, isn't whiny or annoying, a really great narrator. Her friends, Bea and Neerja were similarly endearing. My favorite character, though, was definitely Mike. Mike seems to be the antithesis to Gigi. He's popular, athletic, and knows how to have fun. Gigi assumes that because of these qualities, Mike doesn't have a lot going on upstairs. When Mike and Gigi are forced to work together on a school project, Gigi will learn that as smart as she is, she still has a lot to learn about people and assumptions.
I found SMART GIRLS to be cute and engaging, though not overly exciting. I didn't become fully engaged in the story until approximately one hundred pages in, when I finally got a grasp on what the story "wanted" to be. Once I got into it, I did enjoy it a good bit. There were many times I found myself smiling and chuckling as I read. I liked the way SMART GIRLS turned out and I thought the lessons learned were terrific, my favorite being, friendship over boys. Even though Gigi, Bea, and Neerja were open to new experiences, they always had each others' back. And that alone makes it a great read.
"To recap: I am the the product of two brilliant inert elements with negative bonding capabilities, one who was a Dr. Who fangirl, the other who consistently drove into fire hydrants." (pg 37, ARC)
Expected publication: June 26th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
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Source: Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.