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Kid Konnection: Not That Kind of Girl

September 18, 2010

When Natalie Sterling was a freshman, something happened to her best friend that had the whole school talking about her.  Natalie was steadfast and loyal, though, and stuck by Autumn when she needed her the most, but she’s also used it to keep Autumn all to herself.  Natalie’s intentions are good, though – she tries her best to do what she feels is right – she works hard at school, she’s active in extracurricular activities, and most of all, she stays away from boys!

Now that she’s a senior, Natalie thinks she has everything under control, and things seem to be going her way.  Spencer, a freshman, who is very comfortable with her sexuality – she feels that it enables her to control boys – comes along and makes Natalie wonder if she’s been right these last three years.

When I started Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian, everything seemed pretty cut and dried to me – Natalie was a good girl, and Spencer was not.  But, as the story progressed, I realized that I had jumped to conclusions and formed first impressions that weren’t all that accurate.  Yes, Natalie was a good girl, but she was so uptight, she was never really herself.  She was so focused on being good, she forgot to have fun and let her hair down.  Spencer however, wasn’t the total bad girl I first thought her to be.  Sure, she made some poor decisions, but who hasn’t at some point in their life?

Of all the characters, I found that I could relate to Natalie the most.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t like the others, it’s just that I think she was the most like me.  I’ve always had a strong sense of what I felt was right and wrong, but I don’t think I’m quite as uptight as Natalie is – I’m sure Vance would disagree with me on that point!

What I loved about Not That Kind of Girl was that it made me think!  Things aren’t as black and white as I want to believe they are – there’s a lot of gray area in there.  I think this would be a fantastic book for a mother and daughter (high school age and above) to read together because I think it presents a lot of opportunities for great discussions.  The book is recommended for ages 14 and up, but it’s not just for younger readers – those who can remember what high school was like will find a lot to like about this book as well!

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Scholastic.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
21 Comments leave one →
  1. September 18, 2010 6:42 am

    Great! There are times I don’t think I’ve ever left highschool, so I’m really looking forward to this one. I loved Siobahn’s first book (SAME DIFFERENCE) and have this one on the TBRSoon pile.

    Sam 🙂

  2. September 18, 2010 7:23 am

    This sounds like one I could read with my niece. As you know, I like books that make me think.

  3. September 18, 2010 8:03 am

    When I think back about high school, I shudder. I do like the kind of books that aren’t all cut and dried and predictable, so this might be one for me to read then share it with my daughter.

  4. September 18, 2010 8:59 am

    A book you would read together, I like the thought of that

  5. September 18, 2010 10:20 am

    A TBR to go on my daughter’s wishlist, I suspect.

    Enjoy ur weekend!


  6. September 18, 2010 11:45 am

    High school is tough with puberty and growing pains happening. Glad they’re over!

  7. September 18, 2010 12:48 pm

    Great idea for mother-daughter book clubs. Booking Daughter and I met Siobhan last year at the Lititz Kid Lit Festival. I can’t wait to read her book.

  8. September 18, 2010 1:31 pm

    This sounds great – sort of like a more sophisticated Judy Blume…

  9. September 18, 2010 7:18 pm

    I have a few girls in mind to recommend this one to.

  10. September 18, 2010 8:06 pm

    Terrific review, Kathy! This does sound a great book to share with a daughter who is headed for high school.

  11. September 19, 2010 12:15 am

    Any YA that makes a person think is a good thing in my book.

  12. stacybuckeye permalink
    September 19, 2010 12:31 am

    This looks like a YA story I would like. I like that it challenges your assumptions. I tend to see things in black & white too, although it’s more of a personal thing. I’m okay with other people living in the land of gray, it challenges my assumptions!

  13. September 19, 2010 6:36 am

    I’ll be sending this YA review to a friend of mine and I know it’s just what she needs now. The good girl and bad girl role will never change but in the end it’s how we live our lives with dignity that counts. Put in a little tinge of responsible and honesty … compassion and intelligence and VOILA!

  14. September 19, 2010 7:06 am

    Was very happy to read your review. I love that SV is getting such good press for this novel.

  15. September 19, 2010 4:33 pm

    I like these kinds of books too – the ones that say the world is not all black and white. Good books for thinking and discussing. I’m glad it’s written for young adults. Good review, Kathy.

  16. September 19, 2010 5:04 pm

    This might make a nice stocking stuffer for LW14 (yes, I’m already thinking about Christmas … I imagine *my* mother has it already all wrapped up!) … then we could ease into some conversations about the topics the book raises. High School seems to be ‘so far, so good’ for her.

  17. September 19, 2010 6:45 pm

    I bet this book would be great to share with my daughter, who is in the perfect target age range. I like the fact that it is not a black and white story and that there are varying shades of gray in the way it’s told. It does sound like quite an interesting book, so I am going to add it to my list. Thanks for the great review!

  18. September 19, 2010 7:34 pm

    Since I started blogging I have been reading some YA fiction for the first time in years. And I always amazed at the quality of fiction (I don’t know why I assumed otherwise). This sounds like a another YA that I would enjoy.

  19. September 19, 2010 8:42 pm

    You and uptight had me giggling! You are definitely not uptight!

    I like the sound of this book. I’m looking for YA books that don’t have predictable characters, and this one fits the bill.

  20. givingreadingachance permalink
    September 20, 2010 4:00 am

    Oh Well, I would definitely want to read this. This is so Sarah Dessen-ish story 😀

  21. September 21, 2010 5:11 pm

    I don’t believe I’ve read a review of this one before, thanks for bringing it to my attention. It sounds really good.

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