When Miko meets Liam Ashton, it's love at first sight. At least, for her. Sure, the two of them are polar opposites, and yes, he seems to be dating someone new each week. But Miko knows what true love is and that you can't rush it - after all, what she lacks in real-world experience, she makes up for in book smarts. With novels as her guide, and her best friends by her side, she knows she can get Liam to love her back. But just like any good romance novel, fate has a few plot twists in store. Will Miko get her own happy ending? Will she find the strength to stand up for what she deserves even if it means breaking her own heart?
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By Holly Helscher on 15-07-16
Smart Girl is the last in The Girls series trilogy by Rachel Hollis. The point of view in this one is Miko, who we've come to learn in the first two books has a love affair with literature. Quirky, cute and in business with Landon, she is an event designer in love with Liam Ashton, another brother of Max's.
The plot fell just short of good. Unlike the other two, it has a one-note rather than a multi-note conflict; Miko's plan to snag Liam. She makes a list of snaring activities based on her favorite literary romances. As she implements the first two, the reader gets a sense that they are all going to go awry and the plot will be funny and show us Miko getting out of and/or explaining all kinds of scrapes. The problem is that the list becomes an inconsistent plot device. Sometimes it's there. Sometimes it's not. We are constantly in Miko's head as she convinces herself she is mature and worldly. In the meantime, Liam is self-absorbed and selfish, which causes Miko to behave similarly.
Unlike the first two books which feature the effervescent Landon and grouchy but soft-hearted Max, who both have experience tension about a guy but also have a complicated life dream they are trying to achieve, all Miko wants is Liam. She has no other life plan. That makes her one-dimensional. It creates a certain amount of boredom in the book. And I found as I read on, I didn't respect Miko very much. And I certainly didn't respect Liam. The reason for his aloofness was not well developed. Rather, it was only hinted at. Here we have this wealthy and successful man coming from a very friendly and close-knit family acting like a jerk most of the time. And the reader doesn't feel he has a very good reason for it. Had Rachel developed that better, we may have bought into Miko's belief that he is kind and good.
In a trilogy it is usually the second book that is the weakest. But in this case, it is the third one. It's simply not as good as the other two because Miko is a flat character. We know more about her from the first two books than in the one from her point of view. But even in those, we learn nothing about her life dream. Is her life dream really only about a guy? And this particular guy?
It didn't matter that the ending was predictable. The other two were as well, but the tension in the first two was created much better because of the complexity of the stories. In this one, not so much. The epilogue finishes Miko's story, but it also finishes the stories of Landon and Max.
It would have been nice as the girls hug each other in the final paragraphs if they would have given a toast to Sandra Bullock, a behavioral trope carried throughout the book.
Once again the narrator is the author. And once again, her ability to differentiate voices is not well done. However, by now the reader expects it and isn't as confused as in the second book.
All in all, I enjoyed the series. And I'd probably buy another book by Hollis. Any author can have a weak book. And this is Rachel's.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Jennifer on 03-09-16
Not as good as the first two
I really liked the first two books in this series but found it difficult to relate and not just get frustrated with a head in the clouds protagonist. I felt like I was hearing the interior monologue of a teenager - not a successful young woman.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful