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Friday, December 31, 2010

Review: Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

Title: Not That Kind of Girl
Author: Siobhan Vivian
Publisher: PUSH
Pub. Date: 9.1.2010
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keywords: High School, Relationships, Identity, Self Image
Pages: 336
Description (from GoodReads):

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 wants 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.

I'm not really sure why I waited so long to read one of Siobhan Vivian's novels, but, after NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL, I'll be definitely be reading the rest as soon as possible.

Natalie Sterling is a typical teen with very rigid views of what's right and wrong. For the most part, her entire high school career has gone according to plan, but his year things start to fall apart. Before she knows what's happening the line between right and wrong has begun to blur and Natalie finding herself slowly venturing to the other side.

I found Natalie's voice to be realistic and believable. She's one of the most judgmental MC I've come across... Some may find her to be overbearing and condescending, but that's exactly the point. I don't know how many times I've seen my peers act just like Natalie. They know what's right and wrong and they'll be the first to point out when a classmate or coworker is crossing the line, but they'll never admit when they themselves are doing the exact same thing. It's not pretty, but it's real and I appreciate that Vivian acknowledges that through Natalie's character.

NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL also tackles the subject of teen sex and sexual behavior. While it was definitely present in the novel, I didn't think it was over the top, just honest. It wasn't anything more or less than what readers will see out in the real world, which is exactly what I liked about it. Through various characters, Vivian portrays different different viewpoints on the subject... I found it compelling.

I'll be passing NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL along to my all sisters and friends... I think we can all learn a lesson or two from Natalie.


  1. One thing I love most about the novel is the dialogue about not having to feel ashamed for engaging in sexual acts. The slut or saint problem is an issue I hope to see tackled more often.

    My favorite Siobhan Vivian novel is is still Same Difference. The art school in Philly setting, and all of the art the characters produce draws me in.

  2. This sounds really really good. I've been dying to read something fresh, so I'm going to have to give this one a try. Great review!

  3. I absolutely love this book. It is one of my favorites of 2010. I could see a bit of my teenage self in Natalie and Spencer. This was such a fun read and it is a definite reread for 2011. I too will be sharing it with all of my girlfriends!

  4. I really want to read this one, this is the first review I read, it just looks awesome!! ^^

    Mariana S

  5. I've read so much about this book. Honestly, from your description, the way the characters act sounds like how my friends act in real life. I'm going to get this book!

  6. I'm going to be starting this book in the next week or so - I'm excited to read such a great review of it. I was a little apprehensive about the teen sex issue being over the top or in your face - it's nice to know that it's not. Thanks for the review.
    Megan @ Read It, See It


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