book review

[Review] Not that kind of girl by Siobhan Vivian


What is it about?

Slut or saint? Good friend or bad friend? In control or completely out of it?
Life is about making choices, and Natalie Sterling prides herself on always making the right ones. She’s avoided the jerky guys populating her prep school, always topped honor roll, and is poised to become the first female student council president in years.
If only other girls were as sensible and strong. Like the pack of freshmen yearning to be football players’ playthings. Or her best friend, whose crappy judgment nearly ruined her life.
But being sensible and strong isn’t easy. Not when Natalie nearly gets expelled anyway. Not when her advice hurts more than it helps. Not when a boy she once dismissed becomes the boy she can’t stop thinking about.
The line between good and bad has gone fuzzy, and crossing it could end in disaster . . . or become the best choice she’ll ever make. (source)

Book: Not that kind of girl | Author: Siobhan Vivian | Publisher: Scholastic | Pages: 336 (Paperback) | Publication Date: 1st September 2010 | Genre: contemporary YA | Rating: ★★★/5

What did I think?

To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this book. And I shall now tell you why.
The main character, Natalie, is one of those typical “I’m good at school and study and never do anything bad I’m not a slut” type of characters. Throughout the story of the book she learns several things, that change a lot of stuff in her life, she finds things to be important that weren’t important before. And while I like the development, I don’t like the way of it. Because Natalie is constantly judging others and looking down on them, even her best friend. Most of the book is actually about Natalie being mean to other girls or giving them advice that just makes them sad and angry, she tries to force her own views on other people and only realizes that towards the end, when a lot of damage has been done. At some points I got very annoyed with her character making all the same mistakes and behaving like a little child that doesn’t get its candy or something.

There was quite a lot of feminism in this book, different perceptions of what ‘feminism’ means and how you should act depending on your point of view. The thing is, that nothing really was feminism until the last few pages because the arguments were used to tear each other down and trying to change others. Natalie and one of her friends/former babysitting baby Spencer are the complete opposites and also what is kind of the core of the story. Because Spencer believes that she should be allowed to do what she wants to, especially regarding her body. And where Spencer thinks that slutshaming is sexist and bad, Natalie is doing just that. And the two constantly clash. And even though it all works out, I’m really not sure where Siobhan Vivian wanted to go with all of it. I can’t say what she wants to tell the reader with this story, what’s good or bad. I guess she wanted both types to work together, but unfortunately it did not turn out too well.

But there were also good things. I especially enjoyed the romance, it was cute and not affected by too much drama (which I hate) and I like a good “oh my god I hate you no wait I like you”. I also thought that the love interest was quite the cutie and not the stupid boy I expected. And that the romance wasn’t the main plot is a plus point as well. So I’d say the idea of the story is great. What was made with it? Not so much.



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