The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik
So I read this book years ago when my friend gave it to me. I kind of forgot about it, but then it came back to the front of my mind when I read The Dashwood Sisters Tell All.
I meant to do a review of of it then, but then was distracted by other things-you know life.
But lately I have been watching Austentatious, and the character of Marianne made me think of this book again, so I figured why not review it?
The Nickerson sisters have always been known as the “smart” one and the “pretty” one. Ava Nickerson is the older sister, the smart one. She does everything right, is an attorney, pays bills on time, cares little about what she wears or her hairdos.
Lauren is the pretty one-drop dead gorgeous and a fashionista. She always has a boyfriend, going with her emotions, etc.
She isn’t very financially secure-she in a lot of debt as her credit cards are all maxed out.
Lauren screws up at work as she was trying to seduce a rich guy, only to find out he’s married. She loses her job and is a loss at what to do, or how to achieve her dream of owning her own shop. The creditors are at the door, when she gets news that her mother has been diagnosed with cancer. She packs up all her stuff and heads home.
Back in Los Angeles, at her parent’s home, Lauren was looking through a “junk” drawer, and she finds a contract her mother and her mother’s best friend made a long time ago. The contract was signed by the mothers, and their seven year old children, that if by 30 the two were single, than a marriage will be done between Russell Markowitz and Ava.
As Lauren grows tired of her big sister’s financial lectures, budgeting, taxes, etc-she hunts Russell down to set them up. Russell is charming, handsome, twice-divorced, and runs a clothing company.
Not exactly marriage material…but that doesn’t stop Lauren. She’s sure that this is the best plan to loosen up her sister and get her perfect match.
So I didn’t like this book…
Ava is the responsible one who learns that she doesn’t just have to be “smart”, but can care about her appearance as well. She has been afraid to make a commitment to any guy, and finally starts opening her heart.
That wouldn’t be so bad, except the guy she picks is Russell, a jerk who cares about himself and the woman he can turn Ava into.
Yeah, he gives her a bunch of clothes and starts dictating her life and choices and how things will be worn.
And while Ava falls hard for him, there is no indication he really cares for her at all.
And for a book that is supposed to be about sisters, it seems more concentrated on the older sister’s storyline than equally showing them. Spontaneous, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants Lauren pretty much stays the same: focused on her clothes and appearance. She does try to help her mother out with chemo, but still is irresponsible, bad at managing her time, etc. She never really learns about not spending too much, or the value of saving; just has one remorseful purchase. It was as if nothing changed her.
Ugh, I just can’t stand how all these modern adaptions portray Sense and Sensibility. People always make the Marianne character so dumb! In Austen’s portrayal she isn’t an airhead but young!!!! A young, impressionable, romantic girl. Not a dunce!
She’s like most teenage girls-young, naive, romantic, think they know it all. So please, please, stop making her so dumb.
For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to Austen Avengers Assemble!
For more Sense and Sensibility variations, go to Big Girls Don’t Cry: Austentatious (2015)
For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Pride, Prejudice, and Personal Statements