Star Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Short Reaction: Ugh, I want Mike Ipolito for myself.
Blurb provided by Goodreads: Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are best friends and total overachievers. Even if they aren’t the most popular girls in school, they aren’t too worried. After all, real life will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. But when an unexpected event proves they’re missing out on the full high-school experience, it’s time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. The trio makes a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge and totally rock it.
Gigi decides to run for student rep, but she’ll have to get over her fear of public speaking—and go head-to-head with gorgeous California Will. Bea used to be one of the best skiers around, until she was derailed; it could be time for her to take the plunge again. And Neerja loves the drama club but has always stayed behind the scenes—until now.
These friends are determined to show the world that smart girls really can get what they want—but that might mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for. . . .
After finishing Spirit Bound, I decided I needed something quick and cute and slightly fluffy so I don’t combust with the love I had for Spirit Bound. I was pretty sure that if I had continued with Last Sacrifice straightaway, I’d be too distraught to function. I needed a breather, so I decided to pick up this gem which has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time, and I wasn’t that disappointed! In all honesty, I enjoyed the book, but I wish it were a little more complex and a little less annoying. With that being said, it’s a high 3 star read, bordering on a 4…okay, I’m just going to give it 4 stars because eh, semantics.
The highlight of the book, for me, is the setting. The story centres around Denton, Boston and I really love the atmosphere as well as the mentioning of landmarks that really screamed THIS IS SET IN A REAL PLACE, THANKS. The underwhelming aspect of this book, though, is the main character, Gigi, who I feel has some interesting qualities, but many more face-palm ones.
This is totally inconsequential but I adore the name Gigi, which could be my favourite thing about her, sadly enough. I expected a lot from her, as I do when I learnt that she is supposed to be some kind of Einstein. People actually do call her Einstein in this book, which baffles me even further. Is this the case of book smart but street dumb? Perhaps so. There were countless of times that I wanted to backhand the heck out of her, because really, how can you be the Top of your class and be totally clueless? In the book, she interacts with this LA hottie, who is not a nice guy, and she KNOWS that. Heck, she sees ALL the signs and yet she has feelings for that jerk throughout the book. Well, I suppose that I should give her props due to the fact that they were conflicting. BUT STILL. I also felt like Gigi spent most of the book not having a backbone, and when she finally stood up for herself, it was far too late for me to like her as much as I could have. Apart from that, the romance (for the most part) was very sweet in this book. There is no instalove, just instalust, which I find more acceptable in a YA book. Sure, there’s a slight love triangle, and it did bother me just a little only because Gigi was so painfully clueless! However, in the end, she chose the right guy (duh) and I found myself grinning, because he truly was a great love interest.
I went into this book thinking it would be told in three points of views, but instead found it was only told in one. Nevertheless, I really thought Strohmeyer did a great job incorporating the other two girls, Bea and Neerja. They were far more interesting than Gigi, I thought, with Bea being the fiery red head (it seems that redheads are anything but -.-) and Neerja being the endearing sweetheart of the three. There was a particular character in the book that I wished Strohmeyer had fleshed out a little more–Ava. She was the ex-best friend of Gigi with severe identity problems which I thought could have made the story 50% more interesting if Strohmeyer had some resolution for her.
All in all, I expected a quick, cute breather and Strohmeyer did deliver. My main criticism is that this story failed to explore the themes the book had, like public perception and insecurity. The problems were presented, but there was no resolution and I felt that Strohmeyer just glazed over it. Recommended to those who need a breather and/or needs a book to get out of a reading slump.