July 25, 2013

Review: Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

Title: Smart Girls Get What They Want
Author: Sarah Strohmeyer
Release Date: June 26th, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count: 348
Source: Purchased eBook
Rating: Smart girls DO get what they want. In the most adorable, fantastic way possible.
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...

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

Gigi, Bea and Neerja are the smart girls who are doing their freaking best to get out of high school, into the best college possible and start REAL LIFE. However, in their attempt to ace high school and escape, they realize that they don't really exist in the minds of their peers. And that's not how these three best friends want to go out. No. They're looking to be remembered. Which is what this book is all about. It starts with a cheating scandal...

Let's break this down:

Yeah, a cheating scandal, AKA a brainiac's worst nightmare. But that's what happens to Gigi. She aces this insanely hard test and so does the hot, arrogant jock who was sitting right next to her. So they called into the principal's office, and there is TROUBLE. Mike (the hot, arrogant jock) and Gigi have to work together to make things better. Oh, and Gigi also has to run for student council. To make things better, that is - considering the school board put in a policy that if you're accused of cheating, even falsely, a note goes into your permanent record.

Anyway, between this cheating scandal and running for student council, Gigi is far from anonymous. Bea ends up going out for the school play - where she gets her chance to cozy up to her crush. He's obviously not who she wants him to be, but it works out in the end. And then Neerja joins the ski team (with Gigi, who can't ski, for the record) even though her parents really don't want her to.

On top of all of this, there's Will, who makes ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING unbelievably more complicated both for Gigi and the story. But, like, even though I hate him, he totally serves his purpose.

Basically, what I'm saying is that each of these girls totally achieves their goal for the year. They make a splash and they most definitely end up in the yearbook. But that's not the only reason I'm totally into this story.

First of all, everything because Gigi and Mike (that hot, arrogant jock) is AMAZING. Amazing. I love the complexities, the back and forth, the confusion... a lot of the time I get annoyed by misconceptions, but not here. Never here. Also, that one scene in the Harvard Coop? Loved. LOVED.

It's also worth noting that the opening conflict of this book really had me on edge the whole book. I hate when my main characters are falsely accused of something - even if this false accusation comes at the beginning of the book, before I really know a character. It's actually a really good trick for authors who are writing books just for me (which, obviously they all are) to take note of. I'm totally kept on the hook until the false accusation is solved. Especially when it's something like a cheating scandal for a girl who's dream since forever is getting into an Ivy. You can get into an Ivy like that.

Finally, I want to highlight the family dynamics in this story. They're complicated, upsetting, what have you, without being too over the top. And the parents are included. It's freaking amazing. Seriously.

My only real complaint about this book is that Ava's (Gigi's ex-BFF) is kind of like an extra, unnecessary limb. Like the appendix. There could have been a lot more there, or I could have lived without her. But I don't even consider that a real complaint. So. Yeah. Awesome, adorable contemporary.

The long and short of it?

Plot: Adorable and amazingly addictive. So, really, awesome.
World Building: That's how school and family situations work in my book.
Character Development: I looooooooove everything Gigi, Be and Neerja go through. Seriously. Also Mike. Oh Mike. *Pets Mike*
Prose: More adorable things. MORE ADORABLE THINGS.
Would I Recommend This Book?: Yeah. It's a fun, cute, contemporary romp. And easy, excellent read, even if contemporary isn't necessarily your favorite.

Mike. Can we talk about him? And hate on Will, of course. And yell at Gigi for being appropriately stupid entirely too often. Seriously. Yeah. Let's talk in the comments below. 


  1. Oh fun! I like how much you loved this one. I have it sitting in a pile in my bedroom and maybe I should move it up for a fun-read sometime soon. Although I think my cover may be a bit different?...

    Great thoughts! Loved reading them.

  2. I haven't read any of Strohmeyer's books yet, but I really want to! I have a paperback of her newest one, and I think an e-book of this one. It sounds super cute! I think I'd get along great with these girls, and it'll be fun to read about their adventures.

  3. I picked up this book ages ago, but then, as usual, I put it on my bookshelf were it is now colelcting dust. I'm awesome like that. Anyway, I definitely need to read this, and the Zoe one, too. I'm glad that, for the most part, you liked this.

  4. I love love this cover. I wish my husband can pick me up and twirl me. If he tried, I would end up with something broken because we are clumsy.

    We just talked about this yesterday. I really liked the author's second book, and like I said, been procrastinating on getting to this one. My friend who read it really liked the friendship between the girls.

    Will have to make time for this oneeeeee. :( No time for all the books. NO TIME.

  5. This one sounds so amazing, Gaby! The girls seem like awesome characters, and TBH you had me at the description of the family dynamics. Absentee families is one of my biggest pet peeve in YA literature, so I'm sure I'll enjoy this one. Plus I want to meet this Mike. :)

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  6. YAY! Gigi and Mike were awesome. Gah. I loved the romance in this one, and that we got to learn about friends and family too. Totally legit.

    1. Mike! *hugs* I don't really remember Will tbh, except that there was some awful guy she went for first and she thought Mike was an asshole, but presto chango everything was as it should be.


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