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Smart Vs Pretty
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Smart Vs Pretty

3.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  707 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Francesca and Amanda are in trouble. When they took over their parents' coffee bar in Brooklyn Heights, they thought they'd have a business for life. Now, they've managed to run it into the ground, and emergency action is required. Clever, thoughtful Francesca thinks that brainpower is the key to starting over, whereas Amanda firmly believes that a sweet smile and great ha ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 13th 2007 by Little Black Dress (first published February 8th 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,230)
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Sherri 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.
Apr 08, 2013 Caitlin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 26, 2009 Sheryl rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 11, 2014 Rhonda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 24, 2016 Shafiya rated it did not like it
Shelves: valerie-frankel
i cant even remember what the book is talking abt! how bad is that?!
Jennie Garcia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 27, 2016 AMY rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
so lame I can't get into it.
Sep 13, 2008 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 12, 2016 Maria rated it it was ok
My life is in turmoil at the moment, I needed to get a literary fix, something utterly forgetable and benign. Perfect choice, Blah to say the least! Would fit in well with Mills & Boons racy genre books.
Feb 21, 2008 Keris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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

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Dawn Tutt
Feb 26, 2012 Dawn Tutt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 09, 2010 Jackie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 21, 2010 Sara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
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.
This book was terrible, but I kept on reading, hoping it would get better. This book disguises itself as a light-hearted book about sisters when in reality it's a horrible attempt at a suspenseful/mystery/crime novel. The writing was also terrible and choppy and I rolled my eyes more times than I can remember.
Feb 06, 2010 Sharon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
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.
Mar 06, 2012 Trina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jun 12, 2011 Bella rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 03, 2009 Stacey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 17, 2008 Tricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 :)
Dec 04, 2010 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Jun 13, 2009 Eden rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 18, 2007 Elaine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 27, 2008 Tasha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: what-the-heck
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
Jun 09, 2011 Lisa Lap rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicklit
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.
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.
Mar 13, 2007 Maddy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Fluffy fluff mystery romance novel crap set in my neighborhood. Jacket says "Anyone with a sister should read this" I disagree.
fun vacation read. a little romance, a little sisterly rivarly, a little mystery.
easy, enjoyable, non-thinker entertaining book
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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
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