Monday, March 14, 2011

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

Published: September 1, 2010 by Scholastic, Inc.
Received: bought from Borders online
Natalie Sterling wants to be in control. She wants her friends to be loyal. She wants her classmates to elect her student council president. She wants to find the right guy, not the usual jerk her school has to offer. She wants a good reputation, because she believes that will lead to good things.

But life is messy, and it's very hard to be in control of it. Not when there are freshman girls running around in a pack, trying to get senior guys to sleep with them. Not when your friends have secrets they're no longer comfortable sharing. Not when the boy you once dismissed ends up being the boy you want to sleep with yourself - but only in secret, with nobody ever finding out.

Slut or saint? Winner or loser? Natalie is getting tired of these forced choices - and is now going to find a way to live life in the sometimes messy, sometimes wonderful in-between. {taken from}
I really enjoyed this book for what it was.  A story about a young girl finding herself among the many stereotypes associated with being a teenager, & what it means to be sexual - in a tasteful way.  The message behind this book is something that will last the test of time.  Unfortunately, there will always be the boy who gets praise for making a home run with a girl; and the girl who gets ridiculed & looked down on because she just so happened went to first base.  It's an awful truth that has always existed.  Not That Kind of Girl portrays this among it's pages, but also sheds light on the fact that it doesn't always have to be this way.

Natalie Sterling is the type of character who was sewn from a different piece of cloth.  Her goals in high school are to become the student council president, make the best grades possible, study as hard as she can for a perfect score on the SATs, & maintain a positive reputation for the school to follow.  She functions best when she has a full plate & admires the guidance she has always received from her beloved teacher, Ms. Bee.  Natalie has seen first hand what the cruelty of high school can do to someone.  Her best friend, Autumn, was made fun of because she wouldn't "go all the way" with a certain senior boy when they were only freshmen.  Autumn was tagged as "Fish Sticks" & the haunting nightmare always lingered in the back of her mind.  Natalie did what any best friend would do, she stood by Autumn's side & supported her friend, no matter what.

As their senior year of high school begins, Natalie is focused on student council events & preparing for the SATs.  The other girls in her school seem to be focused on boys, & how to get their attention.  This bothers Natalie to no end.  Why would these young, talented girls feel as though they have to subject themselves to such male chauvinistic pigs just to get a date to a dance? or even be considered to walk in their presence?  This thought, along with other recent events, sparks an idea inside Natalie's head.  She can teach these girls how to carry themselves with pride & honor.  Show them what it means to be a woman, by keeping your legs closed & opening up your minds.  With the help of Autumn, Ms. Bee, and a few other classmates Natalie begins her mission.  However, the idea does not pan out as she'd hoped it would.

Natalie finds herself in the worst possible situation.  When a certain boy by the name of Connor takes notice in her, she completely loses sight of what matters most: student council, SATs, & even her own best friend Autumn.  Natalie finds herself in the most uncompromising position.  But what makes it even worse for her: she likes it.  Natalie begins to secretly see Connor late at night.  The two begin to fool around & she realizes that this could be something more than just physical attraction.  She refuses to believe that though.  Isn't this the sort of thing she always thought against?  Is she just one big hypocrite for teaching those other girls to rise above this same sort of action?  Or has Natalie's heart taken the driver's seat & is now running the show?  Poor Natalie is left confused in an uncharted territory.  The decisions she makes now could possibly effect her future. 

I really enjoyed this author's writing style.  It was smooth & kept you intrigued.  Becoming connected with Natalie's character occurred instantly & I felt all the things that she was feeling.  I loved reading about the idea of what it meant to be a teenage girl & the stereotypes that surrounded it.  I see so many young girls today thinking that if they wear a tighter pair of pants, or a lower cut shirt, then perhaps that beautiful boy over there will notice them.  That idea is so wrong.  Girls need to realize that it's their minds that will get them much further in life than any spot of cleavage will.  But I also liked the flip side to this story; don't be afraid to take a chance on a relationship ether.  Not every boy out there is just wanting to get in your pants.  Sometimes, they really do want to see what's inside your brain too :-)  This book took me back to high school & how I remember thinking that grades were so important.  That being the best academically is what mattered most.  It's not though.  Finding the balance between academics & being social is just as important.  A girl can learn a lot from her peers, that she never could in a textbook.



  1. Great review! I really liked this book because it was so much more than just a romance. It was about Natalie figuring out who she wanted to be and how Connor fit into that picture. Also loved all the sexy scenes in this book. Connor is very swoon-worthy *sigh* I need to re-read this one now.

  2. I keep seeing good things about this book! Natalie sounds like one of those characters I would connect with. It seems like this book touches on some really important issues and has some substance behind the romantical aspect. Great review! I will be looking out for this one next time at the bookstore.

  3. I never payed much attention to this book - until now. I am going to see if it's in my local library, and if not buy it. It sounds like a read that I would appreciate. Thanks for the awesome review!

  4. You know when you really really love a book and then you find that other people really really loved that book too? and you feel super duper happy because you just found someone who is so totally your kind of person.....THIS IS HOW I FEEL WHEN I READ YOUR REVIEWS.

    And you should read the dedication, or maybe the acknowledgements, I can't remember which and I borrowed my copy to a friend, because you KNOW this girl is major friends with Jenny Han. HOLLA. Also, you will be pleased to know they are writing a trilogy together and it has SOLD. You probably already know this but if not, YOU ARE TOTALLY WELCOME.

    Fabulous review as always, I doubt that I would be friends with natalie if we went to high school together, because even though I was in advanced classes, I was more of a Spencer kinda gal.

  5. As always, excellent review G! I hadn't heard of this book, but it sounds good. May have to add it to the pile (Oy).


  6. Nice review! I really enjoyed this book, for a lot of the reasons you mentioned. Natalie drove me crazy sometimes, but I still liked her in some way. I definitely wanted to see her succeed, yet learn the lesson that she eventually did learn.

  7. I have this on my TBR list and am so looking forward to it - I think the author lives in my city, too, so that's fun! You've made it sound like a very true-to-high-school read - love the details and reactions in your reviews!

  8. Great review! Adding this one to my TBR list. It sounds like something I'd really enjoy. I love your reviews! You provide depth without spoiling and I'm finding that I usually want to go right out and get the book!

  9. Natalie (coincidentally) sounds a lot like I was in high school (minus the whole liason with a cute of a crazy busy highly motivated perfectionist! I've seen this book around, but hadn't planned on reading it until now. I feel like I keep saying that on your blog! Darn your reviews! lol

  10. I seriously cannot wait to read this one! I love the concept of trying to balance academics and social life of high school and it sounds like it really takes you back to those days. I'm so glad I bought this last weekend :)

  11. It's a great book! I'm really glad you enjoyed it! :) And I have to agree with you on finding a balance in high school and as an adult. Great review!

  12. What a great review! I love that this books seems to take a more realistic approach to high school and dating than many YA books... Will add to the ever growing tbr pile!

  13. I want to read this one!!! Believe it or not, I almost threw it on my wish list for Christmas and my birthday but THAT IS HOW EMBARRASSED I AM BY THIS COVER. I didn't want anyone else to purchase it for me -- can you imagine the weird judgy looks I'd get?! We'll see how the cover design changes when it goes into paperback production. By golly I WILL read it this year!


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