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Smart Girls Get What They Want
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Smart Girls Get What They Want

4.6 76
by Sarah Strohmeyer

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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. They know their real lives will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. There will be ivy, and there will be cute guys in the libraries (hopefully with English accents)! But when an unexpected event shows


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. They know their real lives will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. There will be ivy, and there will be cute guys in the libraries (hopefully with English accents)! But when an unexpected event shows them they're missing out on the full high school experience, it's time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. They make a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge—and they will 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 could mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for. . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Brainiac Gigi Dubois and her best friends Bea and Neerja believe that serious studying will make their dreams come true come college. That’s what Neerja’s older sister, Parad, did—and she got into Princeton. But when they find Parad’s hidden high school yearbook—which has barely been signed—they realize that good grades don’t equal happiness. “Shouldn’t the kids at the top feel on top?” Gigi wonders. They vow to make names for themselves during their sophomore year. Gigi gets accused of cheating in chemistry class and runs for student office. She also tries out for the play and signs up for ski team—just to support her besties. The spot-on teenage characters—including cute boys like new student Will from California and “Man Clan” Mike—keep the book energized and romantic, buoying an often-wispy plot. In her YA debut, adult author Strohmeyer (Kindred Spirits) excels at exploring the bonds of friendship and the complications of teenagers’ lives. Smart readers will find a heroine in girly, intellectual Gigi—all the while winking at her nerdy jokes. Ages 13–up. Agent: Heather Schroder, ICM. (July)
Meg Cabot
“Sarah Strohmeyer gets what readers want: a fresh, funny book full of likable characters, drama, and plenty of romance that kept me turning pages until late into the night.”
Megan McCafferty
“What a refreshingly realistic story about accomplished, ambitious and unapologetically intelligent teen girls! Full of wry observations about high school politics and drama, Smart Girls Get What They Want is for any reader still figuring out who you want to be.”
Patricia McCormick
“Sex and the City meets Pride and Prejudice in this funny, smart and heart-warming book. Brainy babes, unite! This book is for you.”
VOYA - Deena Lipomi
High school sophomore Gigi and her two best friends, Neerja and Bea, are straight-A, honors students who cannot wait to be Ivy Leaguers. They realize, though, that nobody in their school knows who they are, just like Neerja's overachiever older sister who they idolize. The difference is the girls set out to try new things, even if it takes them out of their comfort zones. For Gigi, who is terrified of public speaking and not into sports, this means trying out for the school play, joining the ski team, and running for student government. Slowly, the trio meets new people, gets closer to some great and not-so-great guys, and learns that there is more to high school than just good grades. Gigi's voice is fun and the descriptions of her school assignments, homework, and extracurricular schedules are relatable to driven teens. The story has a stream-of-consciousness feel, which includes over one hundred pages of set up before the three friends decide to jump into more school activities, though it is not a chore to read. This realistic novel, with touches of humor, is a welcome addition to bookshelves heavy in dark, edgy, and paranormal tales. Fans of YA novels told in a similar style, like Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman (Putnam, 2010/VOYA August 2010), will enjoy this one as well. Reviewer: Deena Lipomi
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Super-studious sophomore Gigi Dubois dreams of getting into an Ivy League college and leaving the high school grind behind. But when she and her equally driven BFFs Bea and Neerja sneak a peek at a yearbook belonging to Neerja's academic overachieving sister and realize that nobody in her graduating class knew who she was, they realize, they're missing out. Gigi vows that it will be her "personal mission to ensure, unlike Parad, we got everything we deserved from high school." Bea joins the ski team, Neerja steps up in drama club and pursues the gorgeous (but vapid) boy she has been crushing on, and Gigi, who is terrified of public speaking, decides to run for student rep in order to battle an unfair accusation of cheating on a chemistry test. However, things don't go as planned. Gigi's opponent in the election is a handsome new boy, Will, who seems to be interested in her, but she has to sort out her feelings about hottie Mike, whom she blames for the cheating fiasco but also finds unexpectedly appealing. Gigi is a quirky, smart, endearing character with a wry sense of humor, and her strong friendship with Bea and Neerja is one of the high points of the book. The lively depictions of supporting characters and the Massachusetts setting are well done. A great read to recommend to Meg Cabot fans.—Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
What smart girls like Gigi, Neerja and Bea want is smart boys, although they're hard to find. After following in Neerja's sister Parad's Ivy League–bound footsteps for years, the friends stumble upon Parad's signature-less yearbook, making them think that maybe studying isn't everything. Gigi, who rocks Latin and chemistry, narrates this clever, Glee-like romp through sophomore year. The only relationship on her Facebook page is with Petunia, her basset hound. Her social nonexistence is epitomized by the girls she sits between in homeroom, who ignore her while they pass a phone back and forth across her. Her take on their account of a Halloween party prompts the question, "Where is a deus ex machina when you need one?" When Gigi is accused of cheating on the AP Chemistry midterm along with Mike, a Man Clan wannabe who calls her "Einstein," the girls launch into action. Gigi finds herself running for student rep against Will, the new guy from California she's fallen for who's unafraid to use the word "metaphor" in conversation. Neerja tries out for the lead in Romeo and Juliet and Bea convinces Gigi to join the ski team with her, all in the name of establishing their cred. The author of The Cinderella Pact (2006) shows a humorist's ear for the cadence of teen language in this smart foray into teen literature. (Fiction. 12-17)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
13 Years

What People are Saying About This

Megan McCafferty

“What a refreshingly realistic story about accomplished, ambitious and unapologetically intelligent teen girls! Full of wry observations about high school politics and drama, Smart Girls Get What They Want is for any reader still figuring out who you want to be.”

Patricia McCormick

“Sex and the City meets Pride and Prejudice in this funny, smart and heart-warming book. Brainy babes, unite! This book is for you.”

Meg Cabot

“Sarah Strohmeyer gets what readers want: a fresh, funny book full of likable characters, drama, and plenty of romance that kept me turning pages until late into the night.”

Meet the Author

Sarah Strohmeyer is a bestselling and award-winning novelist whose books include The Secrets of Lily Graves, How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True, Smart Girls Get What They Want, The Cinderella Pact (which became the Lifetime Original Movie Lying to Be Perfect), The Sleeping Beauty Proposal, The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives, Sweet Love, and the Bubbles mystery series. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Boston Globe. She lives with her family outside Montpelier, Vermont.

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Smart Girls Get What They Want 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 76 reviews.
Darkfallen More than 1 year ago
Everyone knows this isn't usually the type of book I read but OMG am I so glad that I did! This was a great break from the paranormal and an introduction into the contemporary ya scene. Gigi and her two friends are super smart girls. You know the type...they take all honors classes in high school. They don't eat lunch in the lunch room, but more like the library, or in Gigi's case, the honors lounge. For the most part part they tend to be kind of invisible to the general population, and while they will probably be your valedictorian you may not know their name. They are definitely NOT the type to join the cheer leading squad, or try out for the school play, but all that is about to change... After discovering one of their older sisters year books after she graduated and went off to an Ivy League school the three girls realize that their idol was keeping a dark secret. Sure she was smart and achieved all her goals by getting into Ivy League, but no one in high school barely knew who she was. So, deciding that they were not going to succumb to the same fate, they made a pack to go for not only the grades, but to make themselves know as well. This book was too cute. I loved Gigi and her friends. Gigi was a lot more funny than I expected her to be, and while she was mega book smart, she was seriously stupid when it came to guys. It was a nice balance that evened it all out. And not only were the three girls perfect, but the guys and the side characters in this book were well fleshed out and played a prominent roll without weighing the story down. And don't even get me started on the resident jock, Mike. I LOVED him! He spends so much time being underrated by Gigi and the gang yet he hangs in there. This is definitely one of those reads that sucks you in from the beginning with the right amount of drama, and humor to lighten it up, and then it keeps you turning the pages with the hint of romance until the ending that will leave you swooning long after you read the last page!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Girls about 10 and above would LOVE this story! It's sometimes tough to be the "smart girl" in school. Strohmeyer's book helps those girls realize that they can be the "cool" girls and have social lives while keeping up the great academics! Sarah Strohmeyer is one of my favorite authors! Her writing is so wonderful and comfortable! I feel like I'm part of her stories! I read this book because I'm a teacher, and I'd love to recommend it to my students--and many of my former students!
RandyLRB More than 1 year ago
If I hadn't already read all of Sarah's books, I would never have believed that this was her first teen novel. She hit a home run with this one. Intelligent, funny, and most importantly, believable. What an enjoyable read. Loved it, can't wait for her next one, teen or adult.
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
Smart Girls Get What They Want has become the only YA contemporary novel that has finally reached the same love I have for Anna and the French Kiss. This is saying ALOT. I loved every single page of SGGWTW. It was full of laughs, such likable and flowing writing, realistic plot, amazing secondary characters, a kick-butt protagonist that is SMART and is independent, an enjoyable plot, and finally a cute boy to giggle about! That being said, beware, this review will be full of praises, gushing, and outright infatuation over Sarah Strohmeyer's debut novel! The protagonist, Gigi, is nicknamed "Einstein". That should give you an understanding of her level of smartness. Along with her other two best friends, Neerja and Bea, they are the three smartest girls in their sophomore year. However getting tired of not being noticed or leaving an imprint during their high school years, they decid to try out for different things. Neerja for the play Romeo and Juliet, Bea for the Skiing team, and Gigi for Student Rep. However Gigi, at first, is only running for Student Rep to win and be able to remove the accusations of cheating that were filed against her and Mike at the beginning of the year, even if they were exonerated. What Ivy League school would take a possible cheater? Here enters Mike. The guy that is all fun and Jokes. He is not the usual hot jerk, even with his constant teasing of Gigi, he is truly goodhearted and sweet. I really loved Mike! however the other side of the love triangle, Will, I can't say the same about. He ticked me off, and I'm glad the protagonist is smart and follows her head, and not only her heart. The secondary characters (her best friends) were amazing! I am so glad the protagonist had such loyal friends. A great change from the 'mean best friend' we see in YA novels. You also get a glimpse of their high school struggles and also you see their strong friendship. Also, they all make new friends. There is no evil witch, or a mean girl. Even Mike's ex-girlfriend. I was totally invested in not only the protagonist's life, but also all the secondary characters! including Mike's ex-girlfriend! Sarah Strohmeyer knows how to grab the readers and immerse them into her characters' lives and make us become totally involved in their lives! The only way to describe Smart Girls Get What They Want is that it is a totally feel good novel. A contemporary that would appeal to all YA readers. All I can say, at the beginning the synopsis didn't make me that excited for this novel, but when I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. So in my opinion give it a try! This novel is amazing. I can not wait to see what Sarah Strohmeyer has in stores for her next novel! I will definitely be picking it up!
Andreat78 More than 1 year ago
The first thing that comes to my mind after reading SMART GIRLS GET WHAT THEY WANT is Girl Power. What a great example for the tween and teen girls out there! Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are three besties with one common goal: to be at the top of their class, go to a prestigious school where they will live a scholarly existence among their own kind, complete with intellectual hotties. They are perfectly content to fly under the radar at their school until the day they realize that their dedication has also earned them invisibility among their classmates. The three then set out on a quest to challenge themselves, to step out of their comfort zone and really live the high school experience. Along the way, though, these girls learn a lot of lessons about life and love. SMART GIRLS is entirely told from Gigi's view point. She was obviously a brainiac, but the girl had a great ironic sense of humor, and that made her so much fun to read. She is very matter-of-fact, isn't whiny or annoying, a really great narrator. Her friends, Bea and Neerja were similarly endearing. My favorite character, though, was definitely Mike. Mike seems to be the antithesis to Gigi. He's popular, athletic, and knows how to have fun. Gigi assumes that because of these qualities, Mike doesn't have a lot going on upstairs. When Mike and Gigi are forced to work together on a school project, Gigi will learn that as smart as she is, she still has a lot to learn about people and assumptions. I found SMART GIRLS to be cute and engaging, though not overly exciting. I didn't become fully engaged in the story until approximately one hundred pages in, when I finally got a grasp on what the story "wanted" to be. Once I got into it, I did enjoy it a good bit. There were many times I found myself smiling and chuckling as I read. I liked the way SMART GIRLS turned out and I thought the lessons learned were terrific, my favorite being, friendship over boys. Even though Gigi, Bea, and Neerja were open to new experiences, they always had each others' back. And that alone makes it a great read. Favorite Quote: "To recap: I am the the product of two brilliant inert elements with negative bonding capabilities, one who was a Dr. Who fangirl, the other who consistently drove into fire hydrants." (pg 37, ARC)
NightOwlKD More than 1 year ago
love love loved this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This books was one of my only reads from her but i have a feeling im going to read more by her! I liked the friendship of all the girls. In this book there is alot of drama 10 and older girls even adults i would recommed read this i loved it right until the end. I cant believe Will would treat a girl like that. I totally felt for Gigi in this book and im not even in high school yet. For the little kids out there dont get caught in drama til u are definalty older and understand that it gets around. Boys will come and go. Ull find one eventually. Dont start untill ur in ur teens. I promise!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thid book is amazing it made me feel like i was in this love book story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the title and was almost positive I'd hate it. Boy, was I wrong.
Twilightsdance More than 1 year ago
This story is incredible I recommend it to all high schools girls. What a refreshingly amazing book. The story is about three best friends, Bea, Neerja and Gigi who have been inseparable since Kindergarten. These girls are smart and have accomplished a lot academically only being in Tenth grade. They study hard, get good grades and are all in AP classes. But all that changes when Neerja’s sister is accepted to Princeton and it’s Neerja’s job to pack up all her belongings. When she finds her sister’s yearbook under her bed after Parad stated that she hadn’t received it, she looks inside and is shocked by what she finds, or in Parad’s case doesn’t find. This brings on a whole new perspective in the girls life as they have always looked up to Parad for being so intelligent. - Jenny
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recomend this highly!!!! Great read!
Candacemom2two More than 1 year ago
I hadn't heard of this book until it showed up unexpected in my mailbox one day and since it was nearly time for it to be released I figured I'd better get it read. And wow! What an awesome surprise! I totally got into this book right away and fell in love with Gigi and her awesome personality. She's kind of middle of the road as far as her personality goes. She's not afraid to speak up, but she doesn't do so all the time, she sometimes holds it in. But she's the kind of girl I love to read about, she really stood out for me and I absolutely loved her! Yes, she was a little clueless sometimes when it came to boys, but she handled everything pretty good and I loved that she didn't go completely gaga when a boy gave her attention. She did in her head at first, but she didn't really lay it all out, which made her really smart in my book. (Meaning she didn't totally make a fool of herself when she so easily could have.) What I loved the most was her devotion to her friends. She always put them first. She made some mistakes, but she learned from them immediately and didn't make the same mistake again. She was willing to pretty much do anything for them, even if it basically meant risking her life. Friendships like that are hard to find. I would like Gigi to be my best friend. The romance in this book is one of those that's a little bit twisty. There are two boys that could be potential love interests and I don't want to give anything away, so I'm going to be vague. But it's not really a love triangle. It's some difficult choices for Gigi though, that's for sure! And the romance, well, it becomes clear how it's going to go and from that point on it's so sweet! Yes, I like the sweet kind of romance. The kind that's not firy passion, but more the quiet 'perfect for each other' kind of thing. Especially when the tension is between the characters for a long time, where you really feel the vibe and just hope your hardest that they'll finally figure it out. It's the kind of romance I like anyway. I went in knowing nothing about this book so I had zero expectations. But it ended up being a very fun ride. I had plenty of giggles along the way and it was a light, non stressful read. I very highly suggest you pick it up, it's perfect for summer!
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
Gigi and her friends are the hero(oine)s of smart girls! At last, there is a contemporary read where the smart girls take the spotlight. Not to say that there aren't other smart girls or girls who are smart in other ways. This is a book that focuses on the fact that the main characters are smart girls and how they go about finding popularity while maintaining their studies. Other unique features of the book: one of Gigi's friends (Neerja) is Indian (go ethnic diversity!) and Gigi's grandmother is French and uses French. I adore Gigi's character. She's an overachiever like Bea and Neerja, and she relates thermodynamics to the hair-styling process. She has a great sense of humor and good taste in books. A smart girl who also loves Anna and the French Kiss = win. One day, she wakes up and realizes that if she spend all of her time studying, she won't have a social life. I went through a similar stage--also in my sophomore year of high school, now that I think about it--so I can relate. It was the year that I began trying to talk to people more instead of studying all the time, and I picked up my first "fun reading book" in years. Gigi's progress takes time as well, though she manages to find herself by the end of the school year with the help of her best friends and a chemistry project she's forced into with a jock. Although Gigi didn't want to leave high school without any memories, it takes an almost suspension to set plans into motion. It also makes the principal aware that students didn't view themselves quite as equals, as Gigi looks down on jocks and the jocks think she's out of their league. There are also the students who don't get smart people at all. I love this angle to the story. It's very real and applicable to high school life today. I knew students who were better at sports than studies, but my high-school valedictorian was part of the band and was pretty into sports. A physics and computer science nerd at my school was on the football team. People shouldn't be labelled just by the groups they hang out with, and it's something that Gigi will learn when she realizes that she's been overlooking a hot sweetie with brains hiding under a a jock-ish exterior. Smart Girls Get What They Want plays on the social stereotypes that we see in too many schools today and shows how people aren't always what they seem to be on the surface. The story is light and filled with humor, as Gigi struggles to overcome her fear of public speaking and find her niche in the school where she'll be remembered, and her friends undergo similar experiences. The story is light, cute, and filled with humor. It is about friendship, branching out, and speaking up. There is romance, but it is secondary to the girls' plans to succeed in something other than their studies. I recommend this to those looking for a fun contemporary read with depth to it and a memorable cast of characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book
nadjscr More than 1 year ago
SUCH A CUTE, HEARTWARMING, FUN AND IMPORTANT READ! The friendship between Gigi, Bea and Neerja was pretty much my favorite part of this book. IT WAS SO GREAT reading a book where friendship, especially between girls, takes the front seat and it's such thoroughly talked about. A++ Other aspects of this book that I loved and that I think make it completely stand out from other books in the same genre: - The debunking of many high school stereotypes! And the sense of unity and community between the students, that cared about all types of things, from classic literature to prom dresses. - Parental figures that were actually supporting and positive! Plus, the other figures of authority in the school that were not oblivious to their student's problems. - Showing how much studying is actually involved when you are in HS. Overall, great story that filled me with joy, and that represents an important addition to the YA department and pop culture, it's a gentle reminder that we are all complex beings and more than "meets the eye".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was an amazing book, and i recommend it to all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this in a day, mainly because I couldn't put it down. Great story. Wish I would have read this in high school. "Trust is what you hope you have in your tampon" "The biggest sex organ in the human body is the brain. So you know what that means! POOR JUSTIN!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I also like the book to. I JUST LOVE that cover though!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It was sweet and I loooove the characters. MIIIIIKKKE!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I want ti read it so bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!