Brilliant designer Miko Jin is a hopeless romantic. She's spent most of her life falling in love over and over again...with the men she finds in the pages of her favorite novels.
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?
©2016 Rachel Hollis (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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.
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.
Overall not a bad story; of the three in the series I liked this the least. The main character tried to manufacture love and a relationship within what amounted to a constant booty call. The weird and it was just a pointing in they had I had hoped our protagonist would have grown. Although she had shown some progress, with this sappy ending she was reduced back to the dutiful little woman on his terms. I fully expected the story to produce another, truer, leading man and she would realize was a much better match and choice for her heart.
Too real so much so that it was painful to listen. A lot of us have been in Miko's situation. The reality of her losing herself made me think of the relationships I've neglected in my quest to accept crumbs of attention from one certain person. Not loosing yourself is paramount. The working up to the crux of the story was a bit long. The epilogue really made the book.
I can't think of anything more to say than I already said in the others. I loved it! Every second of every minute I spent listening to Mikkos story left me feeling euphoric!
There were cute parts to the story, but I was kind of disappointed that Rachel turned the quirky Miko that we've come to know into this annoying, desperate, stalker-ish character. It had some great highs, but but many moments that I wanted to slap Miko.
Do yourself the favor and take a ride on this fun series that ends with all the emotion and joy you'd expect from Rachel and the "girls".
"Full Summation of the trilogies but Least Satisfying"
This is the final book in the 'Girl' trilogy. I'm glad that it is also part of the Kindle Unlimited package, like the first (which the second one wasn't, but was more worth the credit).
It pulls together and fully concludes the previous two stories satisfactorily, but of itself is a very unsatisfactory story. We first meet Nico in Party Girl and she is introduced as the strong, professional, together, advisor, helper and mentor to Landan. So. It came as a surprise to me that she is written as a flaky, addle-brained, hopeless romantic rather than a practical romantic, given the character she initially is and the characters that she is surrounded by.
If you've already listened to Party Girl and Sweet Girl (my favourite), you may as well go ahead and listen to this one. It completes the stories which is a tidy ending, whilst not necessarily making you feel anything for either of the two central characters.
If you too are a hopeless romantic, then at least you'll learn which other books are out there worth reading, if you haven't read them already. There are some good classics.
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