Reviewed by Vera (Luxury Reading)
To strangers, Ava and Lauren Nickerson could not be more similar and some would even go as far as to call them twins. But to Ava, they are worlds apart. Lauren, the younger sister, is beautiful and carefree, attracting men wherever she goes. Thanks to her ravenous shopping habits, Lauren is also in debt and about to evicted from her apartment. Ava, on the other hand, is a successful lawyer and is as conservative and responsible as they come. She lives for her job, does not see the purpose in being fashionable or wearing make-up, and has not had a date since law school.
When Ava tricks Lauren into sitting down with a debt counselor, Lauren swears to get back at her sister. She finds just such an opportunity when she comes across a document her parents jokingly drew up years ago, betrothing Ava to their friends’ son, Russell Markowitz. Lauren tracks down Russell, a charming but doubly-divorced bachelor who finds the entire engagement contract amusing and is only too happy to play along. Ava is convinced that Russel is only sticking around for Lauren and cannot believe that someone like him would be be even remotely interested in someone plain like her. But, before long, Lauren’s hijinks are throwing the “engaged” pair together in unexpected ways and even Ava is forced to admit that there is more to the whole contract than meets the eye…
A charming addition to chick lit, The Smart One and the Pretty One is entertaining, engrossing and a definitely fun read for the beach or a long flight. LaZebnik’s writing style is light and chick lit fluffy; the book is not serious literature nor does it pretend to be. At times, I wished that LaZebnik was not so narrowly focused on the relationship between Ava and Russel. Certain story lines could have been better developed or brought to a more satisfying end, such as Lauren’s own romantic relationship, but The Smart One and the Pretty One kept me interested and intrigued regardless.