Sisters. This is certainly a topic that has been explored in too many books to count, and I could spend days and days writing about famous literary character sisters. What is it that draws us to a story of sisters? For me, it might be because I don’t have one (in fact I have no siblings), so I love to explore sisterly relationships. While I would like to say my earliest memory of devouring sisterly stories was with Little Women , it wasn’t – it was actually the Wakefield twins who attended Sweet Valley High.
So where am I going with this?
It’s this idea of looking at the relationship of sisters that drew me in to Claire LaZebnik’s book The Smart One and the Pretty One. In this book, we meet twenty-somethings Ava and Lauren Nickerson. Ava is the older sister who is a lawyer, stayed living near her childhood home in CA, dresses dowdy for her age and hasn’t had a serious relationship in years. Lauren is younger, loves fashion and buying clothes and was living in New York until she became overwhelmed in debt (and had a blow-up with her boss) – so she took the opportunity of a family crisis to come home and stay home. This is not to say that Ava is boring, or Lauren is shallow. But they are both different enough, that each wants to work on the other.
This premise isn’t anything new, often in sisterly relationship books we find just such opposites (like Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield). Add in a twist about of a marriage contract the Nickerson parents made between Ava and a family friend’s son when they were children – well that’s got some potential to spice things up a bit, especially when Lauren finds her sister’s “betrothed” and reintroduces him to their lives.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I curled up on my window seat on Sunday and read a good chunk of this book, and that’s just the type of book this is – fun Sunday reading. Sure, there were some things that I didn’t totally like (but as not to add spoilers I’ll just say I didn’t feel there was full closure on everything) but to me, this book was about the relationship between Ava and Lauren, and I really believed it. I liked their conversations with each other, they seemed real. I expect sisters to bicker with each other and meddle in the other’s life, which they did. But I also expect them to defend each other against outsiders and ultimately look out for the other, which they also did.
The Smart One and the Pretty One.
Author: Claire LaZebnik
Published: September 10, 2008 (Paperback)
Publisher: 5 Spot
Thanks to Miriam at Hachette Book Group for sending me this copy to read, and for offering me five copies to give away.
Yes, you read that right – I have five copies to giveaway!
Starting today, September 21 through 6pm ET on Friday, September 25 leave a comment below with your email address to be entered into this giveaway. Please note: U.S. shipping address only.
And if you want a few more entry opportunities:
• Leave a comment telling me who your favorite literary character sisters are
• Follow this blog
• Follow me on Twitter @BaileysandBooks
• Tweet about the contest on Twitter (be sure to note @BaileysandBooks so I can find you)
• Note this contest on your blog
Be sure to leave a note in the comments with each of these additional entries as well so I can count them all up.
So that’s a total of six opportunities to win. All entries will be counted from your comments below and five winners will be randomly selected via Random.org. Again, this contest is open to U.S. residents only (sorry to all my overseas and across the border friends).