The Smart One and the Pretty One
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The Smart One and the Pretty One

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3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  2,706 ratings  ·  241 reviews
"This sparkling novel about two sisters is both witty and stylish. Even if you don't have a sister of your own, you won't be able to resist LaZebnik's charming take on modern relationships. Read it!"
- Holly Peterson, bestselling author of The Manny

When Ava Nickerson was a child, her mother jokingly betrothed her to a friend's son, and the contract the parents made has st...more
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Published September 10th 2008 by 5 Spot
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T.Y.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren Fidler
about 32 pages into this badboy, i got very excited because i was going to be able to use my "what a bunch of assholes" shelf.

that's probably not a good sign, right?

this be the story of sisters, and that special bond only sisters share. there's lauren (no relation), the gorgeous flake who's in so much debt that she contemplates declaring bankruptcy before she quits her job in new york and moves home to mooch. she's the PRETTY one. and there's ava, the spinster-esque lawyer who dresses like a for...more
Meg
Claire LaZebnik’s The Smart One And The Pretty One is the story of two sisters trying to understand each other as adults -- while simultaneously boosting each other as they share difficult experiences. And though I wanted to like the Nickerson girls and cheer for them from the get-go, I just had too many issues with this book.

Firstly, both sisters felt like such stereotypes to me. Ava is a lawyer (yes, of course she is) while Lauren worked at a fashionable boutique, stocking up on clothes and ot...more
Margaret
I wanted a light, fluffy read before I tackled a more serious and heart-tugging book from my stash. I just never got into the plot other than to feel disgust and frustration with the two sisters Ava and Lauren. Ava is a presentable but frumpy, hard-working lawyer. Younger Lauren is cute and perky and in financial trouble. Finding herself fired from her job, facing eviction from her New York apartment and burdened with debt, she ups and moves back to California to literally sponge off her family...more
Danielle
Although I don't usually go for chick-lit, the title of this book caught my attention. It started out ok and the plot line had good potential.

Though pretty soon I started to get annoyed with Ava's character. She was just too awkward, and I couldn't help but cringe with how she interacted with Russell for most of the story.

Lauren's character however, was what kept my interest to finish the book. The relationship with her and Daniel showed potential and I wanted to see it evolve further. Even...more
Alea
I adored this book! I can't say enough good things about it! I knew exactly where Ava was coming from and found myself being eager to see what she did with herself for my own benefit! I really can't think of the last time that I identified with a character in a book so much. I don't dress to impress and hate wearing makeup! And like in the book, my little sister has done my makeup on occasion.

And Lauren, also what a great character. Even though I didn't identify nearly as much with her as I did...more
Laura de Leon
I alternated between loving this book and being very annoyed by it. I spent more time in the enjoying it side, but got more annoyed as the book went on.

I liked the family relationships in the book. I enjoyed the byplay between the sisters, and how they went about reestablishing their friendship. I found both sisters to be interesting characters.

Lauren needs to grow up, but she's got a good heart. Her sister Ava is trying to help her in the growing up department. Sometimes she appreciates this, s...more
Katherine
This book is, as its title suggests, about a “smart one” and a “pretty one”--in this case, twenty-something sisters Ava and Lauren Nickerson, respectively. Ava is a smart, (overly) buttoned-up lawyer and Lauren is a bubbly, (overly) free-wheeling buyer and devotee of all things fashion. They both have their romantic storylines, as we switch back and forth between the two. But the book is also about a family reconnecting and learning a little more about each other in adulthood, as the sisters sup...more
Fedora
This is definitely women's fiction/chick lit--it's the story of two sisters, Lauren, who's got some serious financial issues and who's come home to get her bearings, so to speak, and Ava, the practical, organized one. She's also kind of frumpy and has spent much of her life focused on not focusing on her externals, in part because Lauren's got that down pat.

Now, I will admit right up front that I tended to identify more with Ava and I mostly loathed Lauren, who seemed incredibly immature and sel...more
Just - The romance reader
I read this about a year ago, before I joined goodreads, thus why I'm just not giving a review. Unfortunately, since it's been so long I don't remember lots about the book, but I enjoyed it enough to give it 4 stars. Upon reading the summary I immediately thought of the movie "In Her Shoes" and there were definitely some similarities - the two sisters being complete opposites and at times battling it out because of that oppositeness. If I remember right, both sisters tend to realize and struggle...more
Katie
So this was actually the first LaZebnik I read! But that was five years ago, so all I remembered was that I liked it. Between that how much I enjoy her YA, I thought I'd give it a re-read.

And I still like it! I think the characters are a bit less likable than in her YA. That's not all bad, though. In some ways, it's nice to have love interests who come off badly at times. And the family stuff was pretty good.

I kind of wish even more had been done with Ava's attitude towards clothes and looking p...more
Lisa
It's a quick, mindless read, but I got annoyed while reading it. Maybe I am getting too old/jaded for chicklit. One of the main characters started dating what I would describe as a trainwreck. My younger self would probably say - Ooo, maybe he is going to change for her.

My older, more realistic and cynical self thought - drop him like a bad habit. There is not attractive about a guy who treats you like this.

If you want to read this, I wouldn't purchase it - maybe rent it from the library?
Joyce
Two sisters, polar opposites. Brought together by a mom going through chemo. Lauren, the younger sister is beautiful ( of course) & a shopaholic. Her older sister Ava (beautiful too) is a conservative lawyer. Lauren is angry when Ava tried to straighten her life out & retaliates by finding an old marriage "contract" at her parents house & setting her sister up to meet the guy.

The problem is none if the characters are sympathetic. The sisters are downright mean in the way they talk to...more
Lolkatings
I read this book on a suggestion from my book club. The only character I truly enjoyed was "the smart one." The men, you could tell, were supposed to be, for the most part, likable, but I couldn't bring myself to that point. And the message of the book, being yourself is all well and good but making the effort to conform to standards of beauty is better - just no.
Brandy
I wanted to like this book so much, but I couldn't get past chapter four. It is all predictable dialog that lacks any intelligent thought. Ava is supposed to be an attorney because she is "the smart one" but she cannot express her opinions or thoughts. She doesn't like confrontation either. What? Lauren is the younger sister who spends all her money and goes into debt. The sisters don't get along at all yet the first interaction is Lauren calling Ava for advice. It doesn't make any sense. The pl...more
Kelly
this was a quick easy story to read...but nothing to get really excited about
Jody
Once again I’m reminded that the straight up romance genre isn’t really for me. I don’t know when this happened, because I used to read almost exclusively romance novels when I was younger. But it seems a book needs a lot more than just a budding relationship to wow me these days.

Now, that isn’t to say that The Smart One and the Pretty One isn’t a good book. It was fine, really. The story of two sisters trying to sort out their personal and professional lives amidst a bit of a family crisis, The...more
Kim V
No matter how old we are or how far we travel whenever we return to our first family we often revert to the old familial roles. Like an oldie but goodie tune sung slightly off key grown men and women transform into “the baby” or “the favorite” as soon as they re-enter their childhood homes. And few familial relationships are as complex as the sister bond.

In The Smart One and the Pretty One author Claire La Zebnik spins a delicious tale of adult sisters who come to appreciate that they are more...more
Lori
Sep 15, 2009 Lori rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone!
"The Smart One and the Pretty One" lived up to my expectations as a fun, spunky piece of chick-lit and then surpassed it. I quickly devoured this book in three days, so involved did I become in both the story and the characters.

Both sisters, Ava and Lauren, are relatable - - they are witty, they are competitive, they are flawed. Both could be more annoying than amiable - - Ava, the conservative, buttoned up attorney who has some preconceived notions of relationships and men; Lauren, the flirty,...more
Brenda
This was a nice little book to read. The story line intested me from the beginning. The book flowed well. Of course there was an underlying lesson to be learned by the sisters who thought they were the smart one and the pretty one respectivley. That doesn't really culminate until the end. The book kept my interest all the way through to the end. This morning I was glued to the last couple of chapters to see how the author was going to end the book.
This was one of those authors who actually got t...more
Laurel-Rain
Two sisters, living widely disparate lives, come together to support their mother through a medical crisis. Lauren Nickerson, living beyond her means in New York, is the "pretty" one—fashion conscious, obsessed with new clothes, she is on the verge of financial disaster. She flies home to LA to help out while their mother goes through chemotherapy. Smart Ava Nickerson is a lawyer, very conscious of making good financial choices, she hardly ever thinks about fashion, and already lives close to ho...more
Bobbie  Crawford
Oct 23, 2008 Bobbie Crawford rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women of All Ages
The Smart One and the Pretty One,
Written By: Claire LaZebnik
Published By: Hachette Book Group, New York, 2008, First Edition, 290 pages, paperback, ISBN 978-0-446-58206-3

The Smart One and the Pretty One is a humorous, fun-loving story of sisters who meddle in each other’s lives with heart-warming results.” BCM

At nearly thirty years old, Ava Nickerson is a demure and successful attorney. Her life is well-ordered and calm, just the way she likes it.
Despite the similarities in their looks and clos...more
Jessica Lawlor
The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik tells the story of two sisters who look alike but couldn’t be more different.

Ava Nickerson is a smart and accomplished lawyer. She takes pride in her work and could care less about fashion and beauty.

Lauren Nickerson works in a shop and takes pride in being beautiful, loving fashion and cares a great deal about appearance.

Lauren moves to California with Ava when she loses her job and finds out that her mother has cancer. Lauren is annoyed when...more
Gaby
The blurb:
Smart, successful Ava Nickerson is closing in on thirty and has barely had a date since law school. When a family crisis brings her prodigal little sister Lauren back to Los Angeles, Lauren stumbles across a forgotten document - a contract their parents had jokingly drawn up years ago betrothing Ava to their friends' son.

Frustrated and embarrassed by Ava's constant lectures about financial responsibility (all because she's in a little debt. Okay, a lot of debt), Lauren decides to do s...more
Karen
I really liked this book! It was a quick, fun read. And I guess it falls under that "Chick Lit" category, but it had a nice subtle message in the end that I liked. It's about two sisters Ava (the smart one) and Lauren (the pretty one)-- at least that's how they start out. Lauren returns home to LA from New York to be with her family as her mother undergoes treatment for breast cancer. Turns out Lauren is in alot of debt, and Ava, who is a lawyer, interfers and makes Lauren meet with a financial...more
christine
I read this book hesitantly but out of respect for a friend of mine who lent it to me. She picked it out from her stash and thought I would enjoy it. It is the kind of light whimsical book you can easily read by the poolside or at the beach because it doesn't require much brainpower or grab you emotionally. Don't get me wrong, I actually like a book to pull me in emotionally. This was a Judy Blume meets Danielle Steele. Though I don't really like these kinds of chick-lit books, I will allow myse...more
Christi
There was some good banter between the characters. It was nice to see chick lit characters that like their families instead of blaming them for all their woes.

This book was really all about Ava, the "smart one" becoming pretty and popular. I don't feel like she ever really appreciated that her sister took her advice to heart to improve her finances AND worked to hook her up with a nice guy? The more the book went on, the more selfish this character became.

I was disappointed there wasn't more fo...more
Michele
Nov 13, 2008 Michele rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: chick lit fans/those who like sister stories
Claire LaZebnik Nails It
I love a good sister story and found this one, The Smart One and the Pretty One, thoroughly enjoyable. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to guess we have two interesting young women, one a responsible lawyer, and the other a recently fired spendthrift, each traveling through life on a different path. It’s just that during the course of this tale, their paths lead to the same place: home. It’s similar to the novel In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner, however, this is a new...more
Catherine
This book was weird, in that I normally would have given it a two star rating. But I ended up actually enjoying it even though it did everything wrong (in my opinion). Lauren and Ava were both annoying, and Russel wasn't as interesting as Daniel. It wasn't a very deep book, which isn't necessary for me to enjoy it, but it kind of pretended it was. At the end of the day, though, I had fun reading about these 2 sisters who were completely 100% different than my own sister and I.
melissa1lbr
I have to admit straight up that chick lit is not for me (in most cases). I really didn't enjoy the story and the romance. I didn't like the characters (with the possible exception of Ava). All of them seemed rather stereotyped. The story is very predictable. I know lots of people love this kind of stuff and I just find it really is not for me. I gagged over some of the romance and I wanted to hit most of the characters for being so idiotic. I also think it doesn't help that I don't relate at al...more
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Class of 2014: Book Review 1 6 Mar 27, 2013 09:39PM  
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The Last Best Kiss is now available at bookstores and online!

Here's the Booklist review: "Anna can’t help but be attracted to bright, offbeat, and totally uncool Finn. But what about those completely wrong clothes and the nerdy glasses? Eventually she breaks his heart, because, seriously, what would her friends say about such a klutzy guy? She is not without regret or guilt, though, even as Finn...more
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“He smiled down into her eyes and she looked right at him and she knew him. When hadn’t she known him? With a little sigh of acceptance, she moved into his arms, meeting his eager kiss with a mouth that was just as greedy as him” 5 likes
“[Ava] had always thought the main relationship in the family was the one between Nancy and her daughters. To have a family, you needed a father, of course, and Jimmy had played that role perfectly well, if you were okay with an old-fashioned interpretation of the job. But the Nickerson family was all about the women and their noisy, bickering, gossiping, interfering relationships with one another.

And now it seemed that maybe she ahd been looking at it all wrong. Maybe she and Lauren were just the icing, and the basic, underlying cake of the family was the couple in front of her who had a shared history she knew very little about.”
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