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Smart Vs. Pretty

3.0 of 5 stars 3.00  ·  rating details  ·  662 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Out-of-work urban professional Francesca Greenfield has always known that she was the "smart" sister. Amanda was the soft and lovely one who, from the beginning, had always garnered most of the attention -- and all the dates. Now they've been thrown together in a last-ditch effort to save the family coffeehouse business before it goes permanently down the drain.

In the chao
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Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 6th 2001 by Avon (first published February 8th 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,117)
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Sharal Hunter
This book has been languishing on my TBR pile for quite a while and is written by a new to me author. I enjoyed the premise of this story taking place in a coffeehouse. What the book description failed to convey to me was that when the story begins, Francesca aka Frank and Amanda are already running the coffeehouse and have been a while. Unfortunately, the business is failing fast and they are facing foreclosure and becoming unemployed as well as homeless.

Frank and Amanda are complete opposites.
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Caitlin
The title should have been my first clue that this was not going to be a good book. That and the fact that it had been on the shelves at the thrift shop for a few weeks. Still, I decided to give it a chance.

I'd like to state here that this is not the worst book I have ever read. This is mainly due to my having read "Empire of the Ants" by Bernard Weber a few years ago. It is leagues better than "Empire of the Ants." I'll give it that.

The characters are flat and unlikable. Little character devel
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Sheryl
I was surprised how bad this book was. I kept reading it because I kept thinking, "It has to get better, right?" The thought that maybe it would have some predictable plot points was the only thing I thought would save it. But it didn't-they weren't predictable and, in fact, the unpredictable plot points only made me scratch my head and resent reading the whole damn book.

The story arc was made even worse by the two main characters, sisters, who I can't even bother to name. They are opposites, b
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Rhonda
I found this book and it's plot pretty simplistic. It wants to be many things, romance, mystery, comedy, relationship book but never really goes to any of those places. If you are looking for something mindless that requires very little concentration...this may be the novel for you.
Jennie Garcia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa
I chose this book because I was interested in one of Frankel's other books and I wanted to check her out. I thought this book was pretty pointless. It was like an unfunny early Janet Evanovich novel. The title didn't really make sense since the whole smart vs. pretty thing was rarely touched on and I didn't connect with any of the characters. I didn't really care what happened to them, and that is rare for me. I am very skeptical about trying the other book now.
Keris
Two sisters - one labelled the smart one (Frank) and the other pretty (Amanda) - are left running a Brooklyn coffee bar after the sad demise of their parents.

Unfortunately, a chain coffee house has opened next door and the cafe's finances are in dire straits. Enter Clarissa, a business studies student who offers to

To read the rest of this review (and more!), please visit Trashionista
Dawn Tutt
Predictable equals boring. This is a puff piece of writing, no one really discovers anything about themselves as people, or how they deal with their sibling. When will people realize that they can end a book without every one being happily paired off in romance, and all their troubles solved, that just as happy an ending is one where people have the hope of these things rather than having all their problems solved (or ignored) in 300 pages.
Stephanie Meyers Helms
I wanted to like this one. It drew my personal attention as a smart girl. I did like the sisters' characters, but the plot was fairly predictable and I couldn't really bring myself to invest in the storyline. There were a few points at which I laughed out loud. There were some well-written and interesting passages - just not enough of them to make a very interesting book.
Jackie
This was by far the best of the 3 Valerie Frankel's I read. Apparently she used to write in magazines and reading her stories you can tell. She's a little choppy - trying a little hard to be ironic and punny. While I'm sure that this writing style is perfect for short stories or articles in magazines, it grows tedious in full length books.
Sara
I have wanted to read this book for so long. I was mildly disappointed while reading it. The book was nothing like I thought it was going to be. I was hoping for more of a relationship between the two sisters. In my opinion the book doesn't really focus on their relationship, but focuses more on the two sisters co-existing in the book.
Sharon
I read this one in my post-Tommy period, but it was even too weightless for me. The whole Smart vs. Pretty idea was lost somewhere in transit (which is probably a good thing), and the story had some twists that seemed fairly tangential. I enjoyed other books by this author more.
Trina
I groaned, eye rolled, and shook my head with disbelief. This book was frivolous and mildly insulting to common sense. If your looking for a palate cleanser you could use this book ... though there are better and immensely entertaining light fare on the market.. pick those!
Bella
Jun 12, 2011 Bella rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
The story was definitely one that I would put into the beach book category. The writing was engaging enough, but the plot was uber predictable. I liked both main characters, and loved the setting (a coffeehouse), but other than that, it was just meh.
Stacey
All right, I tried. I really tried. I just could not like this book. I didn't even finish it. I enjoyed This Is The New Happy by Frankel, but this book was, to me, poorly written and not compelling at all. Not for me.
Tricia
This is another one that I read with my sister. A definate must read for anyone with a sister. It is a very creative and hilarious book. Don't take anything at face value. There is usually more than meets the eye :)
Nicole
It's been a while since I read this book, and while I remember enjoying it, there isn't anything that stands out overmuch a few months on.
I liked it and would recommend it as easy reading for sure.
Katherine
One of the worst pieces of chick-lit I have yet to encounter. It served to reinforce dated gender stereotypes and cautioned me to steer clear of the Brooklyn Heights crowd. And that was it.
Flash Mitchell English
Chick lit doesn't have to be this insipid. I know it's meant to be a light, quick beach read, but the story and characters were just too shallow and silly for me.
Eden
At best, I'd call this a mildly entertaining pool read. Frankel's other books were better-written and had characters I grew to care about - but not so with this one.
Elaine
I thought it would be a good book. I never finished it and I honestly don't care to. It could have been an insightful, interesting novel, but it just wasn't.
Tasha
It was ok, the characters didn't "get ya" and so it was hard to really become vested in the story. Good job with the twists and story line though.
Lisa Lap
Because this was a common theme in my house growing up it seemed like a must read. It wasn't that bad, but it also wasn't what I expected.
Christine
Cute story about two sisters running a failing coffeeshop in NYC. Not as well-written as some of the other, more popular chick-lit titles.
Maddy
Fluffy fluff mystery romance novel crap set in my neighborhood. Jacket says "Anyone with a sister should read this" I disagree.
Michelle
fun vacation read. a little romance, a little sisterly rivarly, a little mystery.
easy, enjoyable, non-thinker entertaining book
Caroline
i usually like this author, but i couldn't get into the book. i think it's the subject matter and the cliches. boring..
Ames31398
Very funny book with a hint of mystery. Would recommend this book to anyone who likes funny or mystery! :0)
Daisy Craydon
I didn't like Frankel's writing in particular, and the story had absolutely no point to it really.
Plainqoma
it was fun n light reading. nothing too stands out, n nothing too detail.
nice storyline.
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She's written twenty books (e.g., The Accidental Virgin and The Girlfriend Curse), and contributed to dozens of publications including the New York Times, Self, Allure, Glamour, Parenting and Good Housekeeping. Her memoir, Thin Is the New Happy, about overcoming bad body image after 30 years of dieting and self-loathing, was recently described as "Rueful, zestful and surprisingly funny," by the Ne ...more
More about Valerie Frankel...
Four of a Kind Thin Is the New Happy The Accidental Virgin The Girlfriend Curse It's Hard Not to Hate You: A Memoir

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