Review - Not That Kind of Girl

Not That Kind of Girl, by Siobhan Vivian

Summary from Goodreads: 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.

I read this book in one sitting, staying up late to finish it and then staying up even later as my mind thought about it and processed it. I enjoyed Vivan's writing: it was straightforward and descriptive and genuine. The characters rang true -- which is probably why I just wanted to smack Natalie and Spencer throughout the first 3/4 of the book! The story itself felt very genuine, and felt like a story that everyone experiences at some point -- regardless of your age. Life isn't as black and white as many people want it to be; we are all responsible for our own choices in life, and it's important to be true to yourself, without worrying so much about what other people think. That's definitely something even I have a problem remembering! I guess the only real problem I had with the book, is that the ending felt a little rushed. And thematically, I had a big problem with Spencer's speech and the ensuing idea that sex is your weapon to control boys and make them do what you want. Yes, girls and women should be in charge of their own sexuality; however, I think it's mean and disrespectful to use anything to have "power" over another person, male or female. Sexuality as a weapon is one of my big pet peeves. And, of course the street goes both ways. Life isn't a gender competition and power struggle. Maybe the characters were on their way to realizing that and just didn't have time...that's what I like to think anyway.

Bottom line: an enjoyable book that entertained me and made me think...both things that I love!