Monday, February 14, 2011
Not That Kind of Girl
In honor of Valentine's Day I'm reviewing a romance today. Secret romance, in fact. That's the only kind the main character of Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian will even consider, especially with the jock she never means to fall for.
Her attraction to said jock--the popular Connor Hughes--surprises high school senior Natalie Sterling because she doesn't have time for boys and if she did, she certainly wouldn't choose a disgusting football player. She's too busy achieving her goals (notably the goal of becoming student council president), preparing for the SATs, and making her college applications perfect. Besides, Natalie knows that romance is a minefield. Her best friend's diastrous romantic entanglement freshman year continues to haunt her. Natalie was the only one who stood by her friend, Autumn, when the entire school turned her into a pariah. And this has actually served Natalie well since she fears she and Autumn would have gone their separate ways otherwise. Now Natalie has her best friend and she has her goals, and the last thing she needs is boy trouble.
But even as Natalie's dreams seem to fall into place one by one, her foundations are cracking. Suddenly she's losing control of the student council, especially when an overly sexualized freshman stirs up trouble (she claims a girl's sexuality is power) and football player, Mike Domski, seems determined to personally destroy Natalie's plans, along with as many girls' reputations as he can tank. Then Domski's best friend, Connor, suddenly shows an interest in Natalie. And Natalie realizes she can't control everything, especially not the attraction she feels for Connor. Natalie never thought she was "that" kind of girl. The kind who sneaks around. The kind with loose morals. The kind she used to despise. But Natalie doesn't know what kind of girl she is any longer.
Interesting views of romance, high school "politics", friendship, and reputation. Not to mention differing views of feminism and girl power. Romance isn't my normal genre of choice, and I think I enjoyed this because it was more than just girl-crushing-on-boy. Natalie's conflicts are believable and easy to relate to--even for readers not nearly as uptight as she clearly is.