Natalie has her senior year perfectly lined up. She’ll win the student council election, become the best female president her school has seen in years, impress her favorite teacher, and get into the perfect college. And with the perfect best friend, she can do it all and not have to worry about the distraction of guys. But, Natalie’s plans are derailed quickly when Spencer, a promiscuous freshman, challenges Natalie’s beliefs. Soon she’s losing a grip on her responsibilities, her carefully laid plans, her friendships, and most surprising of all, finding herself attracted to the wrong sort of boy…is it too late for Natalie to figure out what sort of girl she is before she loses everything she’s worked for?
Not That Kind of Girl is a very absorbing and interesting read that addresses the important topic of identity and expectations that teens are faced with, though it may take a little while for the reader to become absorbed in the story. At first, Natalie is a bit of a flat character–she is endlessly nice and perfect–and not much seems to happen in the first fifty pages or so until Natalie begins slipping. She is confronted with the issue of sexuality versus empowerment and is unable to answer the question of where you draw the line between being confident in yourself and acting inappropriately. Vivian also deals with the issue of using a romantic relationship as an escape from life’s issues very well, and portrays the challenges that arise with that sort of behavior. Despite a few rough passages that sound off, Not That Kind of Girl is a great book that does a wonderful job of discussing appearances, peer pressure, and figuring out what sort of person you are without being preachy or judgmental.
Tirzah Price is a sophomore at Ferris State University and blogs regularly at thecompulsivereader.com. If not reading or writing, she is most likely lurking around Twitter @compelledtoread.