Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer
Series: Standalone
Published: June 26th, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
348 pages (ebook)
Genre: Contemporary young adult
Acquired this book: Bought for Kindle
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Book Depository || Chapters/Indigo}


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...

I read a few of Sarah Strohmeyer’s adult novels before I became a book blogger, and I read her second young adult novel, How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True earlier this year and really enjoyed it. I was eager to read Smart Girls Get What They Want so when the ladies at Book Belles held a read-along, it seemed like just the excuse I’d been needing to bump the book up on my TBR.

I’m so glad I did. Smart Girls Get What They Want is cute, laugh-out-loud funny, sweet, and has a lot of really great messages for teenage girls.

I adored Gigi. She was the kind of person who would do anything for her friends, and she’s definitely the kid of friend I’d want to have. Her two best friends, Bea and Neerja, were as well fleshed-out as she was, and I loved their friendship. It wasn’t perfect and they had their issues from time to time, which made it feel completely authentic to me. I’m so tired of stories with backstabbing best friends - these girls were true besties. I did like that with Gigi’s ‘friendship’ with Ava, we got to see an example of a friendship gone wrong, and how people change.

I thought the plot of the story was great, and something I haven’t really seen before. Gigi and her friends concentrated on school, getting good grades, and thinking about their future. When something unexpected (and unfair) happens to Gigi, things begin to change in her safe, monotonous little world. I don’t want to say too much and give things away, but I loved the way things played out. It was great to see Gigi come out of her shell, learn to be more confident, and stand up for herself, all while remaining a true friend who often went above and beyond.

Gigi was such a fun and funny narrator. Some of the things she said and did were hilarious, and I found myself snickering and laughing out loud often. She got herself into a fair number of scrapes, and it was always interesting - and entertaining - to watch her get out of them. 

I really appreciated that this book was different in so many ways. Besides the fact that the girls actually stuck together as friends, I loved that they were all smart, strong, hardworking girls, and were proud of their intelligence. I liked that Gigi’s home life wasn’t the norm, that Neerja was Indian (it’s sad that it’s so rare to see anyone other than white people that something like this has to be pointed out), and that the romances - both Gigi’s and Neerja’s - were totally realistic in that they weren’t perfect or cookie cutter in any way. They were messy and confusing and didn’t get tied up in neat little happily-ever-after bows. Also? Doctor Who references = huge win for me. Oh, and the Meg Cabot and Anna and the French Kiss references also earned this book major points (not that it needed it because it was clearly awesome regardless).

If you haven’t read any of Sarah Strohmeyer’s books, I’d highly recommend starting with Smart Girls Get What They Want. It’s a feel good story without being the least bit cheesy, and it has wonderful messages without being preachy. It’s funny, different, and memorable, and I really can’t recommend it enough.

Have you read Smart Girls Get What They Want? What did you think? If you haven't, does it sound like something you'd be interested in? Have you read any of Strohmeyer's other books?


  1. Yay! I'm glad you loved this. :) I have a copy on my ereader and have been saving it for December when I have a baby and less of a brain to read ... light reads it is! I've read Sarah's newer book and thought it was very cute. :)

    Love her covers, too!

  2. Loved this one too!

    I especially loved that the girls were smart and popular and refreshing!

  3. I love to hearing about books in which girls have female friends and regular backstabbing doesn't happen! Great review. :)

  4. I am so going to read this! It sounds like a lot of fun. Going to download it now ....


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