The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book made me think of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. Ava was the grounded daughter like Elinor and Lauren was the up in the sky one like Marianne. Russell is Edward, at least the was he was described as a child when the engagement agreement was written up. Lauren even get involved with a man who clearly represents Willoughby. While the book as aspects of Jane Austen's novel, it doesn't read like an adaptation, which I really liked since S&S I my least favorite Austen novel.
At times I wanted to strangle Laura and even Russell. They both seemed a little too concerned aboutlooks and appearance. While I didn't want to strangle Ava I did want to hit her for being so closed mined about change. Some of what I disliked about the interactions between Ava and Lauren might simply be that I don't have a sister and I don't understand their dynamics. I think they have a great relationship that shows through even though they do annoy each other at times.
The character growth was really well doneand believable. While they changed they are still the same characters they were at the beginning of the novel. Lauren grows but unlike Marianne she doesn't do a 180 and become a shell of her former self. She grows just enough so we know she's learned something but she hasn't changed who she really is. Ava is still Ava but a bit more open minded. These changes show the influence of each sister on the other.
This was a nice read, I'm happy I finally read it and can now cross it off my TBR list.
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