Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Smart One And The Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik

The Smart One and The Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik
292 pages
Published September 2008 by Hatchette Book Group

Ava and Lauren Nickerson are sisters who look a lot alike. And that's about where the similarities end. Ava is a sucessful lawyer who doesn't care much about her appearance and has hardly dated in years. Lauren is all about her looks, to the point where she has spent herself right into moving back home because she's been evicted.

Ava, in trying to help Lauren, sets Lauren up with a credit counselor and makes her sign a spending agreement. When Lauren finds an old "marriage contract" betrothing Ava to the son of old friends of her parents, Lauren decides to get even. She contacts the "fiance" and arranges for Ava and him to reconnect.

On top of dealing with these issues, the girls mother has recently been diagnosed with cancer. While taking her mother to chemotherapy, Lauren meets the son of another patient and they strike up a relationship.

This book reminded me a lot of "In Her Shoes" by Jennifer Wiener and it certainly falls in the same chick lit vein. This one is saved by the fact that these sisters feel much less one-dimensional than the characters in most chick-lit books and by LaZebnik's handling of cancer. It is in those parts of the story that the book shines; LaZebnik does a lovely job of showing the emotional and practical aspects of dealing with cancer.

Both of the sisters learn somethings about themselves, each other and their parents as they work to overcome their personal issues. And they do feel like real sisters; some fighting, some embarrassing moments, some fun, some jealousy.

The male characters were more one-dimensional and I really didn't buy that the sisters would be attracted to these guys for anything other than their looks. But at least the girls' father turned out to have some redeeming qualities.

It's mostly light and it's mostly fun--the beach read you didn't get to this summer.

Now for the best part! The five winners of a copy of the "The Smart One and The Pretty One" have all been contacted by email for their addresses. And the lucky winners are:

Heather of Gofita's Pages
Care of Care's Online Book Club
Nadia of A Bookish Way of Life

Thanks to everyone who entered! Be sure to enter for a copy of Christopher Buckley's "Supreme Courtship." And I promised another giveaway when I reached 75 followers. As of tonight, I'm at 74 so it looks like that giveaway will be here soon.


  1. Ha, it's so funny, as soon as I read the first part of your post I was thinking "Hey, that sounds like In Her Shoes by Wiener..." I really enjoyed that movie (haven't gotten to the book yet), so maybe I'll try this one since it seems to be so similar!

  2. I followed you on Google connect so you would get 75! (I already follow on Google Reader)

  3. Sadly, I don't think I'm in too much danger of the living-together-weight-gain thing. I only get to eat dinner with him about 1 night a week :o( because of he works from 4pm to 1am.

  4. OH BOY! yippee - thank you thank you. I'm off to send you an email right now...

  5. Oh no disregard my last comment! LOL I meant to reply to Lori and clicked Lisa instead :o)

  6. If this reminded you of "In Her Shoes" then it is a must read for me!!

  7. Congrats to your winners!

    I have an award for you over at my blog:


  8. I confess, I haven't read chick lit since I couldn't put down Brigid Jones...nonetheless when I was looking for a blogger to bestow the Let's Be Friends award on, you were definitely on the kindred spirits list. Stop by my blog for details while I scroll down to read about Edgar Sawtelle!

  9. The cover of this book looks lovely. :D This sounds like a good read.

  10. I could use something light and fun right about now, so this sounds good to me!

  11. Every once in a while I need a light read; this one sounds fun.

  12. Hi, did you get my email? thanks again!

  13. Lisa, This does't seem like a book you would read - can't see you reading 'chic-lit' :)

  14. I don't read much "chick-lit," it's true! But sometimes it's a fun break. My reading tastes are as electic as my musical tastes.

  15. hi, I *finally* read this. LOL
    Thank you. I enjoyed it and it hits 2 categories of this year's What's in a Name Challenge.