Early Review: Smart Girl by Rachel Hollis

Title: Smart Girl
Series: The Girls, #3
Author: Rachel Hollis

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Pub Date: January 16, 2016
Rating: 3 Stars

Our thoughts...

I thoroughly enjoy Rachel Hollis as I know her from The Chic Site and Facebook. She is funny, easy to relate to, honest, entertaining, and smart. This is the first book of hers that I have picked up and I had high hopes. Smart Girl is book three in a series of standalones.

This is the second book this month where I’ve encountered a smart woman who picks the wrong guy to love, a selfish man who refuses to treat his admirer with any sort of respect. Liam has openly admitted that he wants nothing to do with Miko. He talks down to her, ignores her, and doesn’t show her kindness. How does that equal a desirable man? There are red flags everywhere. Apparently there was one night of drunken confession where Liam appeared to be a caring guy but that’s it. We don’t see enough of Liam’s redeeming qualities to make him seem worthy of Miko’s love and adoration. We hear a lot about these attributes from Miko but we don’t often see them. We hear about how he says all of these lovely things when he’s alone with Miko, how he treats her so well, but we rarely see it. This bothers me. When the male lead is of the player/anti-relationship/jerk-in-public variety I want to see his transformation or I just can’t get behind him being a winner. I wanted to believe Liam treated Miko well but how could I be so sure when Miko was clearly (admittedly) obsessed with this guy and everyone around them doubted his intentions. I was never able to jump on his bandwagon.

This story is titled Smart Girl but Miko only appears to have business-smarts. Outside of her job she is flakey, obsessive, and honestly, a little creepy in regards to her behavior towards Liam. We really don’t see her display any sort of smarts outside of work until the last few laps of the story. The whole gimmick here is that Miko tries using various tropes from romantic novels to trick Liam into loving her. I can see how that would be cute in a Rom-Com but it just goes too far here. Let’s just say, as an example, someone ends up violently ill/mildly poisoned due to one of these sure-fire plans. Miko crosses too many lines. If a man had done what she was doing people would be calling for his Man Card. And then they would call the cops.

What irked me even more than Miko’s misguided attempts at tricking a man into loving her is how she was so willing to throw life away for someone who treated her poorly. Liam intentionally treats her poorly and she keeps coming back for a beating. What I am happy to see is that her friends and family call her out on it.  They also aid her in being crazy but they continuously emphasize that Miko deserves a man who treats her with respect in private and public. This happens often in real life and a lot of friends are afraid to speak up and shake their loved ones awake. I was relieved to see this sort of intervention and awakening.

Overall, I’m disappointed with the two main characters but I can appreciate what the author was aiming for. There are a lot of great moments regarding how to treat yourself well, surrounding oneself with people who lift you up and encourage you to be your best. That’s the big take-away here. Take care of yourself, love yourself, and respect yourself. I can’t argue with that message.

Smart Girl on Goodreads

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