cover image Not That Kind of Girl

Not That Kind of Girl

Siobhan Vivian, Scholastic/Push, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-545-16915-8

High school senior and student council president Natalie Sterling believes she knows best about more or less everything (it’s nearly impossible not to picture her as Tracy Flick in Election). Over the past few years, Natalie and her best friend, Autumn, have bonded over a shared disgust of the male species, but even though Autumn’s stance shows signs of weakening, when Natalie starts hooking up with football player Connor, she still thinks she has to keep it a secret from Autumn and everyone else. Through Natalie and Spencer, a freshman girl Natalie used to babysit, Vivian (Same Difference) asks whether sex and sexiness empower girls; Natalie’s feelings about Spencer’s oversexed demeanor and provocative attire flip-flop between seeing her as a victim-in-the-making or as a liberated feminist. Natalie herself is definitely “not that kind of girl”; rather she’s the kind who constructs her own Amelia Earhart costume for Halloween and would rather restock ice in the coolers than dance at a party. Readers may not identify with Natalie’s emotionally remote and arrogant nature, but she is both empathetic and genuine, and her transformation is believable. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)