Review and Giveaway: The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik

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?

Smart OneIt’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
ISBN: 978-0446582063
Published: September 10, 2008 (Paperback)
Publisher: 5 Spot
Pages: 304

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 Again, this contest is open to U.S. residents only (sorry to all my overseas and across the border friends).

Good luck!

28 Responses

  1. I would like to win The Smart and Pretty One.


  2. I follow you on Twitter.

  3. Sounds good to me! My favorite literary sisters are the March sisters from Little Women.
    I subscribe in Google Reader.
    I follow you on Twitter.

  4. sounds great thanks

  5. Favorite literary sisters: The Seamstress.
    I follow your blog by subscribing.
    I follow you on twitter.

    chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dot com

  6. Would love to read this.

    Thanks for the giveaway >^..^<

  7. I could use a new read, I’m going to Virginia for vacation next month!!!

  8. Please add my name to the drawing. Would love the chance to read this.

  9. I’d love to win this book! Thanks!

  10. would love to be entered…

  11. following you on twitter


  12. I’d love to read this. Thanks!

  13. The Bennet sisters of Pride and Prejudice are my favorite literary sisters.

  14. I would love to be entered! I want to read this!!

  15. Nice to meet you, Tam!

    No need to enter me. I’m dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I’ve got this posted at Win a Book.

  16. Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. Would love to read this!

    janemaritz a t yahoo dot com

  18. I’m in . . . I’m already a follower ~~ I posted your contest to my blog ~~ and my new favorite sisters are Corrie and Betsie Ten Boom (The Hiding Place).

    I can be reached at:

  19. I have been wanting to read this! Thanks!

  20. By far, It would be the march sisters-Little women. Love this story! Thanks!

  21. I subscribed through google reader.

  22. I would love to read this book, my favorite sisters would probably by the sisters of Little Women

  23. Sounds like a fun book. Would love the chance to read it. Count me in, please! :0)


  24. enter me please! i posted this on my blog at:

    haleymathiot at yahoo dot com

  25. Include me in this giveaway. I really am looking forward to reading this book.

    Thanks for the chance!

  26. Favorite literary character sisters–easy peasy for me

    Snow White and Rose Red

  27. I follow you through a daily email from FeedBurner.

  28. I would LOVE to win this!!
    Thankyou!! :D:D:D

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