Reviewed by Carrie Ardoin

Gigi is in tenth grade and besides having her two closest friends, Bea and Neerja, is kind of a nobody in her school. Being one of the smartest girls in school doesn’t leave much time for anything other than studying. But Gigi’s perfect academic record is in jeopardy when her monstrous chemistry teacher accuses her and Mike Ipolito, king of the jocks, of cheating on the midterm.

Mike and Gigi are given the chance to redeem themselves by working on an extra credit project together. At the same time, Gigi and her BFFs are determined to gain more notoriety in order to call their high school years a success. Can Gigi juggle studying, sexy boys, sports, and the school representative election?

Smart Girls Get What They Want was such a cute book, and one that I could really relate to–since I had a reputation for being one of those “smart girls” while I was in high school.

Gigi, Bea, and Neerja have been inseparable since kindergarten. But what’s cool is that they each have such distinct personalities. Neerja is shy, Bea is argumentative, and Gigi is introspective but fearless–except for her fear of public speaking! Nonetheless, their friendship was refreshing to read about. There was no cattiness or drama between the three girls.

Just because the book is based around the girls’ friendship, doesn’t mean boys are out of the picture. Gigi finds herself crushing on Will, the new guy from California who just happens to be running against her in the school election. But the more time she spends with Mike, the more she learns that he is not what she thought at all. Neerja finally snags her crush Justin, only to learn that looks and popularity are not the most important qualities in a guy. I thought the budding romances were really well done, and until the last few chapters, I was not sure who Gigi would end up with!

It was pretty cool to see a book set in high school that not only mentioned studying and reading in passing, but actually made it the main focus. In too many young adult books, the characters are in high school but never seem to go to class or crack open a book. Maybe it’s the “smart girl” in me, but I always wonder how in the world those people are passing their classes.

The ending was not a total surprise, but I was very happy with the way things worked out. I loved the author’s writing style, and I finished this book rather quickly. I would definitely recommend this book for any smart girl looking for a little drama-free contemporary YA.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Carrie runs the blog Sweet Southern Home, and is a stay at home wife and mom to one little boy. When she’s not reading, she’s usually watching Netflix with her husband, playing outside with her son, or baking. Her family would describe her as sometimes annoyingly sarcastic, but mostly lovable. 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Balzer + Bray. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.