I finished this one a couple of days ago and have yet to review it! Yesterday I was too busy "playing" with my brand new washing machine and dryer (after 7 months of a broken washing machine, this was like Christmas and my birthday rolled into one!). Today, the washing machine is happily, um, washing, and I finally have a chance to review this wonderful book.
Lauren and Ava are sisters. Although they look a lot alike, even being mistaken for twins on occasion, they could not be more different. Lauren enjoys dressing fashionably and spending more money than she makes. Ava is a lawyer who dresses dowdily, almost hiding behind her clothes. When their mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, Lauren decides to come home to care for her, although it was caught very early and her mother feels quite well. When Lauren arrives home, Ava finds out that Lauren has moved home for good. She has lost her job and was thisclose to being evicted from her apartment, so she decides to start over. Ava attempts to help Lauren find her way out of debt by ambushing her with a credit counsellor, so Lauren attempts to get Ava back by reuniting Ava with Russell, a man who she was "betrothed" to by her parents one drunken evening when the kids were seven.
Hilarity, of course, ensues. Ava is resistant to dating, and to any well-meaning suggestions that she change her dowdy look, but Lauren is persistent. Lauren is resistant to budgeting and to paying off her outstanding debt, but learns a couple of hard lessons as she tries to put her finances back together. Both sisters end up learning things about themselves and about their sister in the process.
This was a fun read about sisterhood and dating. I don't have a sister (two brothers, but no sister), so there were some parts that I couldn't directly relate to, but enjoyed nonetheless. What I loved about the book is that Ava eventually was able to overcome her past hurts and hangups in the romance department to open herself up to the possibility of finding love. The ending left me wanting more, and I'm hoping that Claire LaZebnik considers writing a sequel to "The Smart One and the Pretty One". Thank-you to Miriam at the Hachette Book Group for the review copy, and if you're interested in winning your own copy of "The Smart One and the Pretty One" be sure to enter my contest (it ends September 27th!).