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The Smart One and the Pretty One    by Claire LaZebnik order for
Smart One and the Pretty One
by Claire LaZebnik
Order:  USA  Can
5 Spot, 2008 (2008)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Jessica Weaver

The Smart One and the Pretty One dubs itself a novel about sisters. And if you're a woman and you have a sister, you know the deal: 'Mom liked you best.' 'You were always the smarter one.' 'Yeah, but nobody loved me.' In this witty novel, Claire LaZebnik introduces us to two such sisters: Ava, the responsible lawyer, and Lauren, the New York party girl and fashionista.

The sisters are reunited at home when their mother develops breast cancer. Lauren, having lost her most recent retail job, moves in with Ava and begins to meddle in her life. Lauren finds a contract their parents drew up with friends betrothing Ava to Russell, whom no one has seen in years. When Lauren hunts down Russell and tries to push him and Ava together, Ava must come to see herself as more than just Lauren's smart sister. Meanwhile, Ava forces Lauren into financial planning and perhaps turning over a new leaf.

While the story is somewhat stereotypical of this sisters situation, Ava and Lauren are likeable and are tossed into some unexpected situations. The aspect of cancer adds another level that steers this novel away from being chicklit. The book is a great beach read that's come out a few months too late! Save it for a getaway trip or a cold afternoon read by the fire.

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