The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LeZebnik is a story of two sisters, Ava and Lauren Nickerson, who are often mistaken as twins and yet could not be more completely different. Ava is a successful lawyer, practical and cautious, while her younger sister Lauren is a fashionista who is completely in debt due to her addiction to fashion and inability to say no to the latest trends. A one-line email from their father stating their mother Nancy has cancer alters both of their lives and brings them closer together. Lauren relocates from New York, moving back with her parents in California. Eva, concerned about her mother and worried about just how long her sister plans to live with her parents, sets Lauren up with a debt counselor, under the guise of going out for lunch. Lauren, not amused by the ruse vows to return her sisters “favor” in time. Lauren keeps her word.
One cannot judge a book by its cover, or so the saying goes. For me, maybe it was the title and the cover? I was pleasantly surprised to find this book to be not only enjoyable, but also witty and at times sarcastic. I was worried that it would be a tale of superficial commercialism. Not being one who follows fashion trends, I must admit to being a tad worried I would not enjoy this book. Fortunately I was completely wrong. LaZebnik caught my attention from the beginning and held it until the end. To my utter amazement I was sorry to see the story end as I wanted to know more about the characters and the their respective futures. LeZebnik’s characters are delightful, quirky, and at times eccentric and I believe ones that all readers can relate with on some level. The story line between the sisters is brilliantly woven together as they each take turns telling their story. To me it was very interesting to read how one sister thought of the other and then read how they each truly felt about themselves. So much misperception we women have of others and ourselves. The Nickerson family offers up a lot of advice and taught me a few things I thought I had already figured out in life. I would without a doubt recommend this book as a light and fun read to anyone!
Thanks to Hachette I have a contest currently going on to give out 5 copies of The Smart One and the Pretty One, here.