This Girl Isn't Shy, She's Spectacular

This Girl Isn't Shy, She's Spectacular

4.5 7
by Nina Beck
     
 

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Samantha Owens is sick of being a good girl. So she's skipping out on her stuffy boarding school and finishing up her senior year in New York City. There, Sam reunites with her former fat-camp roomie, the irrepressible Riley Swain, and is drawn into Riley's high-glamour, high-fashion world of deluxe makeovers, dates with wealthy boys, and wild nights out. Then Sam… See more details below

Overview

Samantha Owens is sick of being a good girl. So she's skipping out on her stuffy boarding school and finishing up her senior year in New York City. There, Sam reunites with her former fat-camp roomie, the irrepressible Riley Swain, and is drawn into Riley's high-glamour, high-fashion world of deluxe makeovers, dates with wealthy boys, and wild nights out. Then Sam meets D., the gorgeous, wicked boy who once broke Riley's heart. Sam is supposed to hate D., but she can't. And D. can't seem to stay away from Sam, who never wanted things to get this complicated. But no one said reinventing

yourself, or falling in love, was ever supposed to be easy.

PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK ISN'T FAT, IT'S FABULOUS:

"Riley's narration is hilarious and fresh. ...this girl has flair. "

--KIRKUS REVIEWS

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jennifer Lehmann
When Samantha is denied admission to the creative writing program of her dreams because her writing—based on her own life—is boring and safe, she decides her unexciting life needs a change. She moves back home to New York City (from her boarding school) for the rest of her senior year. Riley, her new best friend, has many ideas to introduce some wildness into her life. When Samantha meets D, the gorgeous bad boy who is trying to straighten out his own life, all her plans become a little more confused. With a good dose of humor in the writing and the plot, this is a fun journey out of Sam's comfort zone. A variety of characters constantly entertain, and Samantha struggles with social issues and decisions that most readers have been through. Some of the issues are sacrificed for the light tone and the romance. Riley and Sam met at a camp to help girls deal with weight issues, but the serious matter of body image and eating disorders is glossed over. The bad boy attraction of D is also unchallenged; he feels he needs to be a better person to deserve Sam, but she never seems to feel this way herself. This Girl Isn't Shy, She's Spectacular is a companion to the novel This Book Isn't Fat, It's Fabulous, but stands on its own well, with the exception of a clear understanding of the relationship between Riley and Samantha. For those looking for a quick and enjoyable read, this book is a good one to pick up. Reviewer: Jennifer Lehmann
School Library Journal
Gr 9–11—High school senior Samantha Owens needs to shake up her life. Devastated over her rejection from a UCLA writing program (Sam's writing lacks passion), she returns to New York City to upset the balance of her perfect existence. She gets help from Riley Swain, a former classmate from her old boarding school, introduced in This Book Isn't Fat, It's Fabulous (Scholastic, 2008). Riley encourages Sam to stay out late, embark on disastrous blind dates, and flirt with D, Riley's best friend. Although Samantha and D clearly like each other, D is determined to straighten out his life, which means focusing on college applications and not on women. After some jealous bouts and soul searching, the two eventually get together. Readers will applaud Samantha's upbeat resolve in the face of rejection from both her dream school and dream boy. The blind dates by committee are funny, if ridiculous (Sam goes out with a guy who only speaks to her in Latin), and Beck's snappy dialogue will score big with reluctant readers. While this novel may be a fluffy, predictable read, it's not a boring one.—Kimberly Garnick Giarratano, Rockaway Township Public Library, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Focusing on secondary characters from This Book Isn't Fat, It's Fabulous (2008), this companion novel falls flat. Samantha, Riley's friend from fat camp, becomes the protagonist, the focus of the third-person narration as she returns from that (implausible) fat-camp-and-boarding-school to spend senior year in New York City. Riley's best friend D, another rich Manhattanite, is a secondary main character, but obscurely, with little insight. He makes a decision to stop partying and hooking up with girls, but neither his supposed romantic callousness nor a real self emerges clearly. Sam dislikes her own blandness, which got her rejected from a college's creative-writing program. The rejection letter mentions "a certain amount of passion missing," which also holds true for Beck's watery characterizations. Gone is the sparkle and hilarity of Riley's voice-here, even Riley's lost her zest. When the tension- and suspense-free climax finally occurs, it's hard to care. (Fiction. 12-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545017053
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/2009
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
830L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 Years

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