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Smart Girls Like Me

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2.85 of 5 stars 2.85  ·  rating details  ·  402 ratings  ·  75 reviews
This is a story about what happens when you are twenty-four years old and it is 1999 and you are quite certain that everyone on the planet has been invited to super-fun New Year's Eve orgies, except you, because you were too busy making plans for the end of the world - courtesy of God or militiamen or your best friend and her ridiculous wedding in the middle of the South P ...more
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published October 2nd 2007 by Thomas Dunne Books
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(showing 1-30 of 1,105)
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Bridget
Nov 28, 2007 Bridget rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: my girlfriends
Shelves: generalfiction
This book started out really good; the writing is sharp, and the main characters speaks and thinks in a way that smart girls do (in my opinion, anyway). I also like the dynamic between the two friends; it feels very real, and not forced. But, as the book goes on, it drags somewhat.
Jess
I'm not really sure how anyone wouldn't enjoy this book. It's surprisingly funny, and remarkably smart. The story is touching without being cheesy, and I found myself genuinely caring about what the characters go through. It's the kind of book where you can't wait to finish it, but you don't want it to end because then it'll be over!
I actually turned past the last page hoping there'd be more.
N.
At first I thought I wouldn't like this book. The character to me, at first, seemed a little bit obnoxious. She's in her early twenties, from an upper-middle class suburban background, and like most who are female with a liberal arts education, trying to eek out a life in some big city with a pittance salary as an admin assistant. In her case, it's NYC and she's working for a website devoted to forecasting young women's fashion trends. Seems pretty typical and cliche.

But. I was struck by how sad
...more
Stephanie
OK...I didn't get through the whole thing. Why? Because it was like reading a 14 year old girl's diary. It seemed super self-indulgent, bordering on narcissistic. And hopefully that was the point, and the main character goes through an awesome transition to really live her Best Life Ever. However, in my quest for living my Best Life Ever, I vowed to not finish books with main characters who repel me.
Kendra
I heard lots of chatter about this one, so I was expecting something better. It might be a tad smarter than your typical chick lit, but quite frankly, I found the main character really annoying. I might have enjoyed it more if I had read it several years ago.
Veronica
Dec 09, 2007 Veronica rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: single girls
not your usual chick lit book. It was funny, sad, and real which makes it easy to relate to the main character.
Christina Rau
The Y2K hysteria has yet to become a point of nostalgia for me. It feels antiquated without the jerking essences of "aww, haha, remember when..." Unfortunately, Smart Girls Like Me uses the turn of the millenium as the crux of Betsy's paranoia, preparedness, and pessimism.

That's the one drawback.

The novel, in any other light, is phenomenal. The writing is smart and realistic. Diane Vadino must be a been-there-done-that kind of chick in the relationship department because the way she animates Be
...more
Suelynn
This is one of three books that I chose as an introduction to female fiction. I read her last for some reason I am glad that I did because this book was what saved me from never reading another book by a female auther in her twenties.

In the begining of the book this character is almost sad and pathetic. She she sort of remains so through out the duration of the book but she sort of finds herself and she realizes that that is okay. I like the way the author developes the characters growth into r
...more
Melanie
Okay, so I checked this book out at the library approximately two weeks ago. I brought it to work, and have been using it as my lunchtime reading. Normally, I am tortured by my lunchtime book because 30 minutes is never long enough, and I am practically dying to see what will happen next. With this book... well, I sort of could care less. In fact, I am doing something that I NEVER do... returning it to the library even though I never finished it.
2/3 thirds of the way in I am still emotionally un
...more
Aileen
Smart girls won’t read this book. Betsy Nilssen, the protagonist, represents the worst of her self-absorbed generation. Utterly unable to see the world beyond her psychoses (dehydrated meals for the Y2K crisis), failed romances (an office fling that ended when her love interest slept with her boss), and her derelict duties as maid of honor (too numerous to mention), the main character comes across as tepid, one-dimensional and hackneyed. Betsy’s caustic friendship with Bridget, her supposed best ...more
Jen
This could have been a good book if the main character, Betsy, hadn't been so dull and annoying. She didn't have much personality, or even a favorite band, as she demonstrated on her date with the "British" guy. Betsy's occasional flashes of brilliant self-understanding and her excellent grasp of metaphor (using the orange as a shield could've been quite profound if Vardino had develped the idea further) show the reader that Betsy is a smart girl--so why is she such a whiny slacker? Why is she s ...more
Mara
Despite the title of this book, Betsy is not a smart girl. She may have better grammar than the people she works with, she may even be more intelligent than most of them, but she gives little evidence of actually being smart. She spends the bulk of the book being snippy about her best friend's upcoming wedding (to the point that if she were my maid of honor, I would have fired her!) and obsessing about her juvenile relationship with her maybe-boyfriend. At the end of the book she has the predict ...more
Chelsea
The second half of this book is exponentially better than the first half. I really couldn't put it down after the book hits the year 2000.
Jocelyn
The protagonist is a twenty-something struggling with work and her love life. She has a few interesting quirks (thinks the world is going to end on New Years due to the Y2K bug and likes dehydrated meatloaf) that help to define her from the numerous other twenty-somethings in this book genre. Her love life takes a bump near the end of the book, but instead of growing into a stronger character, she feels sorry for herself. I wanted her to take charge of her life instead of moping around until the ...more
Carolee Wheeler
Well, as it turns out, the cover design was pretty indicative of the contents. Initially I thought, "This book is pretty good! The author is smart! But the design is trying to sell it to Nanny Diaries people by putting a rack of clothes on the pink cover!" And while the author puts together more intelligent sentences than the average chick-lit writer, ultimately this story was pretty devoid of substance. It also seemed like the second half was cobbled together, or maybe edited down from somethin ...more
Pam Galloway
The title of this book obviously grabs the attention of many. The writing is, especially in the beginning, fresh and exciting. We find ourselves wondering why this protagonist works a job she hates and embrace her new decision to move on. And then she doesn't. She wallows, which is annoying. As this smart girl continues to make ridiculous decisions, the plot becoming a bit muddy and slow and then you want to finish because you think it will get better. It doesn't. Save yourself.

It really is a sh
...more
Rachel
I would give this 3.5 stars if GoodReads would LET ME!. The beginning two-thirds of the book was as bit hard to get through, but the last 1/3 was rewarding. The author's refusal to use contractions, her long-winded sentences, and her abuse of the phrase "the former and the latter" bugged me. I was able to chug through and, ultimately, I am glad that I did.
The book has a very cliche plot, but it is atypical because it it picks apart everything that women are "supposed to" want (i.e. big, fancy
...more
Meaghan
the writing syle wasnt my favorite. i liked the main character but was disappointed how the ending didnt resolve a lot of issues.
Kourtney
I got about 75 pages in and I just can't read anymore. It's too painful. The chapters are split down even further into small chunks which make me feel as though the story is disjointed. The main character (I can't even remember her name and that is saying something) is so negative and annoying I'm surprised anyone can be friends with her. I tried, but I just can't do it. There are too many books in this world that are worth my time, I can't waste anymore on this one.
Stacy
This is a better than average chick lit book, with the main character Betsy being focused on more important issues than Prada shoes. But I kept trying to think back to what I was like at 24 - was I this scattered? Is she really wearing dirty clothes to work and not wearing a bra at 24? Betsy seemed a little stunted in her growth and I did not understand how she and Bridget were ever friends. That being said, it was an entertaining read, especially good for the summer.
Emily
I'm not even sure why I picked this book up at the library because I was sure I would hate it. It looked and sounded like some kooky chick lit with a twist sorta thing. However, the woman who wrote it was one of the first staff people at McSweeney's, so I just gave it a shot. It was pretty funny, and definitely fun to read. A story about watching her best friend preparing to get married while she is preparing for the millennium Y2K bug to change life as she knows it.
Cait
I was really interested in this book, but something about the prose style + the narrators voice just didn't work for me.
That's not to say that it's not a good book, because it is, the characters are well written and it's a very real story, but to me it was almost 'real' in the way Girls is real? Like some people are going to connect with it & some people aren't & I was one of those people who didn't, so I couldn't really enjoy the book?
Meaghan
Jul 28, 2009 Meaghan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Meaghan by: judged by its TP cover
Shelves: fiction
I suppose it's a step up to relate to a 24-year-old protagonist in a "grown up" novel as opposed to a teenager in a YA novel. Vadino pretty much nails the twenty-something malaise-slash-vigor that consumes those of us who don't quite have it all figured out and think that other people do. Betsy's sarcasm and sincerity draw you in; her flaws and "quirks" keep you entrenched. A reassuring and fairly introspective view at what it means to "grow up."
Amanda
Mar 29, 2008 Amanda rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 23-year-olds in NY publishing
Erg. This book was OK. The life of a 23-year-old girl is not the simplest nor even the most interesting to commit to paper, in my opinion. I didn't like myself much at that age and I didn't like our heroine, either, very much. There is so much to learn at that age, it just makes me happy to be older and past that morass of self-involvement and craziness. I liked the cultural allusions more than the story, sadly.
Kate
This seemed caught in between being something literary and something fun, so ended up being neither. It wasn't light enough to speed through like chick-lit, but wasn't engaging or interesting enough to really draw me in either. I liked that the protagonist was complicated and flawed, but I'm not sure I ever felt that she really got out of her own head and/or took ownership of her feelings.
Lindsey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth
Semi-paranoid 20 something dealing with the struggles of growing up and moving on. Surprisingly insightful - and funny - from what I originally thought would be a fluff piece. Great scenes on loving a quirky family, how a wedding with KFC can bring you to tears, and the uncertainties we all face when promising to live happily ever after.
Kate
Nov 20, 2007 Kate rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who will read anything that's related to McSweeney's
i do not understand all the great reviews about this book. i didn't like it very much at all. the conversations were cringe-worthy. the main character was a lightly psychotic martyr. you will get nothing out of reading this book. all the reviews claim it is "smarter than chick lit" -- point me to the passage that proves that.
Bridget
I would give this 1.5 stars, but my official word on this is "EH". The style of writing was a little hard to follow (pretty much rambling on and on) and I got bored after 100 pages or so. I skipped to the end, only to pick up mostly where I left off (seems I didnt miss much) only to be left hanging by the ending.
Michelle
This rates near the top for chick lit. When reading, I felt like I could relate and compare all of the characters to people I know now. Commuting to the city and getting married and things popping up on a lot of my friends plates, hailing from NJ. This was sarcastic and fun, a very enjoyable read.
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Hi! I wrote a book called Smart Girls Like Me. If you're wondering why the name on my book cover and the name on my profile don't match up, it's because I recently took my great-grandmother's last name: (a) I can't pronounce the name I grew up with and (b) we're not Italian! (Long story. I'm writing about it!) I'm very happy because now my sister's dog and I share a last name, which is awesome.
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