Thursday, December 13, 2012
Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
Title: Not That Kind of Girl
Author: Siobhan Vivian
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.
Not That Kind of Girl on Goodreads
At first, I wanted to like this book. I liked that Natalie Sterling was going to be a strong female character who was proud of getting good grades and being a leader. But as you get in to the book, Natalie becomes more and more unlikable. She treats her best friend, Autumn, poorly throughout the book and I was surprised it took that long for Autumn to ditch her. Natalie comes across like a man-hating, slut-shaming feminazi and until the last 2-3 pages I really hated her.
We never really get a reason for WHY she acts that way either. There is a prologue telling a story about a freshman girl who dated a popular senior guy for a few months but when she wouldn't put out, the guy dumps her and tells everyone that her vagina smelled like fish. But, we learn this didn't even happen to Natalie. It happened to Autumn. And Natalie uses this traumatic event to keep Autumn away from everyone else at the school but her. She constantly reminds Autumn of the event and reminds her that SHE (Natalie) is the only one who stood up for her. She refuses to allow Autumn to forgive anyone because she is afraid Autumn will find other friends and leave her.
Connor was great, but I wonder why he even liked Natalie. She treats him like garbage throughout the entire story. He brings her a bunch of wood from his family's farm for a bonfire. When it rains, he takes it upon himself to pack up all the wood and get rid of it for her. Instead of thanking him, she acts like a bitch and tells him she doesn't need a man's help and could do it herself. After they sort of start seeing each other in private, he brings her a bunch of stuff for Thanksgiving baskets (that she's putting together for student council) and she acts like a complete bitch again. Even when they're together in private she is terrible to him. I just don't see the appeal.
Spencer was an interesting character. She is the counter to Natalie's uptight feminist ways and she wants to prove to Natalie, and everyone else, that slut shaming is bad too. She does this by calling herself a "Rosstitute" (mix of the school name and prostitute), letting a boy take a naked picture of her, and otherwise acting like a slut. While I agree with her overall point, I think she goes way overboard. If my 14 year old was acting like that, I would be very disappointed in her.
I think the overall moral of the story was good. I like when a book has a bigger meaning and purpose other than the typical YA romance (will they or won't they get together?). I think the point was supposed to be for Natalie and Spencer to both realize they were going to extremes, and that meeting somewhere in the middle is probably a better option for both of them. I think that point got across.
3 out of 5 stars.
Link to Kala's review on Goodreads: