Saturday, July 28, 2012

Review: Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

Title: Not That Kind of Girl
Author: Siobhan Vivian
Publisher: Scholastic
Release date: September 1st 2010
Pages: 322
Genre: Contemporary YA; romance
Source: Bought
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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.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

You know those books that you just love getting lost in? Where you can't put your finger on what makes the book so amazing, but you know for sure it's good? Yeah. That's what Not That Kind of Girl was like for me. There's no one thing about this book that's incredible, but it all just works so well. The story sucked me in from the first page on, and I just loved reading this book.

Siobhan Vivian's writing flows so nicely. It's not the most beautiful or expressive style I've ever read, but it's easy, the kind of writing that makes you get lost in the book. I didn't even notice the time passing while reading Not That Kind of Girl - I wanted to read a chapter or two, and when I looked up again, I'd read a hundred pages.

Natalie is a great character. I didn't like her for most of the book - some of her actions and the way she thinks made me so mad! I didn't love her as a person, but I loved reading from her POV. There's just something about her character that's so compelling. I loved reading about how she develops over the course of the story. That goes for Natalie's friends, Autumn and Spencer, too! I didn't love either of them as people, but I liked reading about them and seeing how they grew from beginning to end.

And then there's Connor. I loveloveloved Connor. Now that I think about it, I'm not even sure why - he's not the most complex or interesting love interest. But, much like with this whole book, there's just something about him that made me love him so, so much. I always found myself looking forward to their secret meet-ups in the barn - those scenes are seriously hot. I love how subtlely (is that a word?) hot the romance is in Not That Kind of Girl. It's not overly descriptive, but the amazing chemistry between Natalie and Connor made their scenes hot and swoonworthy, even when they weren't doing anything. I loved these two together!

I shouldn't have waited so long to read this book! What kept me from reading Not That Kind of Girl is the cover. But after reading the book... I don't hate it anymore! I still don't love it, since I'm just not a fan of covers with people kissing (or close-ups of faces in general), but I don't mind as much. It works well with the story, and that's really what's most important about book covers!

The ending is the only thing I didn't love about this book - it's a little too abrupt, in my opinion. It seems like all the issues wrap up a little too nicely in the end, and I would have liked some more time for that to happen naturally. The way it is, the ending seems a little forced. But maybe I just wanted the book to keep going!

Really, that's all there is to it. There's no one thing that makes this book incredible, but it's just so good. It's an addictive read with a style that's easy to get lost in. It's pure fun - perfect feel-good reading!


  1. She's an awesome author!!

    I can tell it's a great story because although the characters weren't likable, it really flowed and kept your attention.

    From what you said, it seems like the main character's main issue is that she wants one thing but also wants to be the person her friends will accept, the persona she's cultivated. Like she's got a dilemma between the real her and the fake her she knows will be liked. It's very pertinent to high school.

    Great review!

    IF you like hot romance, you'll love Simone Elkeles' Perfect Chemistry series! The characters are real, and likable and the plot keeps you so interested and it's a real love, it isn't instalove.

    1. I've already read Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction, and I'm waiting for the paperback release of Chain Reaction - I love Simone Elkeles! And I'm already looking forward to the Fullriders series :)

    2. Slammed by Colleen Hoover is supposed to be an equally hot in the romance department contemp:)

      I know people say Simone's books are too edgy, but in my experience that's exactly what high school was like. You had all sorts of people doing all sorts of things - drugs, drinking, gangs, etc and of course people had sex as well. Sometimes when all that is whitewashed out of a novel, that's what seems unrealistic.

    3. Ooh, I really have to get my hands on a copy of Slammed :)

      I love how edgy Simone Elkeles's books are! They're very realistic, in my opinion, and I love how she doesn't shy away from issues that are important to teens :)

    4. Slammed's romance is supposed to be very edgy, kind of unethical but in a way that you end up rooting for the couple. I love those kinds of books, that take a situation you'd be totally against and then the particulars of that specific couple make you root for them.

      I hope Simone handles all the doping issues in Fullriders, and how the teen athletes often are in unethical situations.

    5. I love books like that! Have you read Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma? She takes that to the extreme... and yes, I hope so too! I'm trusting Simone Elkeles do handle all of those issues well, though :)

    6. I've heard awesome things about Forbidden but I haven't read it yet because I KNOW I'll be rooting for them despite the incest thing and I KNOW I'll be crying when they're torn apart. It's just awful when you root for a couple, when they deserve it, and even if it's unethical, it might be the right thing for them and then it ends with them broken up. It's too much!

    7. Yeah, I get that - that book is definitely not for everyone, and it did basically tear me apart! It was worth it for me, though, because it's SO good :D

    8. The funny thing is that most people turn away from this book because it's incest, I have qualms about reading it because I know the couple will be torn apart!! From what I saw, the characters have a really tough home life and the brother and sister have reason to love each other like that. It's such a difficult topic to tackle.

    9. Haha, yeah, that IS kind of messed up :p But I get it; it's really heartbreaking to read about. And yeah, they do have a hard home life - they live with their mom, an alcoholic, and their younger siblings, that they pretty much have to raise. It's handled really well, how they turn to each other and all of that. But I get it if you don't want to read it - it did leave me a bawling mess at the end...

    10. I like my romances to end well! Especially when they work well as a couple (okay, again I sound totally freaky considering they're related here!)

      I think The Waiting Sky by Lara Zielin handles the same kind of problem, but I think the romance there ends well.

      Although I'd love to read Forbidden for the raw feelings of emotion. And how the kids handle their relationship, if their friends know about their feelings about each other. Also if their younger siblings handle it well:)

    11. There's brother/sister romance in The Waiting Sky!? I didn't know that....

      Haha, yeah, it is weird that that's what you're worried about, but I get it. I often like heartbreaking endings like the ones in Forbidden, though. The raw emotion is really well done :)

  2. Just saw that Simone Elkeles is starting a new YA series! It's called Fullriders and it's about high school football stars who seem to get everything handed to them, scholarships etc but it's about their private lives, problems and I guess how the glamorous image of their life isn't what it seems. Sounds interesting! A la Miranda Kenneally:)

    1. Really? Wow! Surely a must read. Thx for sharing the info.

    2. You're welcome:)

      I LOVE Simone Elkeles' books - all of them even her first trilogy and the Paradise books:) I'm sure this series will be just as awesome:)

  3. This one becomes her third book on my wishlist. Like... They all seems so amazing :| arr.

  4. This sounds interesting. But idk, I never loved a book when I hate the main character.

    1. I totally get that - I rarely like books when I dislike the main character. But somehow, it worked for me in Not That Kind of Girl :)


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