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Smart vs Pretty: may the best girl win (Englisch) Taschenbuch – Dezember 2007

3.6 von 5 Sternen 41 Kundenrezensionen

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"Blithe, sly, and hip -- and wicked enough to be really fun."-- Marcelle Clements, author of "The Improvised Woman -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.

Synopsis

Francesca and Amanda are in trouble. When they took over their parents' coffee bar in Brooklyn Heights, they thought they'd have a business for life. Now, they've managed to run it into the ground, and emergency action is required. Clever, thoughtful Francesca thinks that brainpower is the key to starting over, whereas Amanda firmly believes that a sweet smile and great hair get one a lot further in life. Who is right?

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Von Ein Kunde am 8. Juni 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
Most people including the siblings would agree that thirty-three year old Francesca "Frank" Greenfield was the smart one and twenty-nine year old Amanda was the pretty one. The two sisters went their separate ways until last year when they inherited the family café, Barney Greenfield's, in Brooklyn Heights. However, instead of the success they expected, the business is in deep trouble from the opening of Moonburst, a franchised coffee shop, just up the block form the sisters' establishment.
Twenty-three year old marketing major Clarissa O'MacFlanahagan enters the café She talks with the sister about them needing a pull, a marketing strategy that would bring repeat customers to Barney Greenfield's. Desperate for any help, Frank and Amanda agree to allow Clarissa to develop and implement a marketing plan. If they knew when they started how many things were going to spin out of control, both the smart one and the pretty one probably would have chosen to shut the doors to Barney Greenfield's coffeehouse permanently.
Though an extremely humorous romantic romp, SMART AND PRETTY also contains a serious undertone as the Pygmalion Affect caused by their family over the years not only stereotypes Frank and Amanda, but has them living up to those expectations. The story line is entertaining and the craziness adds to the overall fun. The three lead female charcaters are all different yet feel genuine, especially together. The support cast adds romance, competition, and a feel for Brooklyn Heights. Valerie Frankel shows a deft touch that provides much pleasure to sub-genre fans.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Taschenbuch
While reading Smart vs. Pretty, I kept thinking of Alice Hoffman (relationships between women, relationships between women and men, plus a little magick/New Age sensibility thrown in) but the rich descriptives that make Hoffman's books such a treat to read were missing. As the book evolved, I was also reminded of Woody Allen's "Manhattan Murder Mystery" - two ordinary people getting inadvertently involved with a crime and then playing detective on their own. Hijinks ensue.
Nonetheless the book met my expectations...it's a quick, breezy read, engaging in its own way. I read it on the morning bus, on the treadmill even. The girls in question (Frank ("smart") and Amanda ("pretty") get into more scrapes than Bridget Jones in both Fielding books combined, but somehow it's not as convincing or fun. The red herrings required a little too much suspension of disbelief. All this intrigue over...a neighborhood coffee joint? (I know, I know, it was less about coffee and more about prime real estate.) Some of the dialogue was laughable ("Is my touch painful because of your secret love for me?") but I did learn a lot about coffee beans (seriously). Frankel obviously did her research in that area.
I wish the book would have dealt a little less with plot twists and more with the relationship between the two sisters, which was obviously quite complex. Nevertheless, it's definitely appropriate for beach reading, the morning commute, etc.
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Format: Taschenbuch
I wanted to like this book, I really did. I purchased it after reading the glowing reviews at this website, but now I wonder, did we all read the same book? The book does have a rather interesting story, rather than the "Single women can't find dates" (which can be done very well, like in Bridget Jones. It's the story of two sisters and their attempts to keep their inherited coffee house in Brooklyn Heights afloat. It also has a murder mystery aspect, but it was all just a little too contrived. I guess I was hoping for a humorous novel, like Bridget Jones and Tiffany Trott, but unfortunately, this book just is not funny. It has a light tone--you certainly couldn't call it serious. The characters just are not real. Ms. Frankel will describe her characters as being smart, intense, etc., but just because she says they are, doesn't make it so. The dialogue was also very week. People just don't talk that stiffly. The book is also billed into a study of the relationship between sisters, but it's too shallow to accomplish anything.
I suppose though, it is a nice quick read, and if you have a three hour plane flight and don't want anything taxing, this novel might be appropriate.
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Von Ein Kunde am 9. April 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
In trying to remain consistent with the book's title, Frankel faces a problem. She makes desperate attempts to keep the actions of each sister consistent with their respective personality themes. In doing so, she has created one dimensional creatures who struggle to remain in character. People are complicated and multilayered; Frankel's characters are flat and, therefore, completely uninteresting. Writers who are able to embrace the inconsistencies of personality are better able to create characters who can confront and affect the challenges presented by a compelling plot.
I believe Frankel has a good sense of the elements involved in creating an involving story. Clearly her strength lies in creating labyrinth-style "chase scenes" like the one toward the end of the book. I have to admit that I was entertained by a couple of the plot twists that she created. However, even this positive aspect of her writing seemed fraught with the overexertion of an attempt to move the plot in a direction that would be consistent with the stagnant personalities of her main characters. The colorful confusion of New York life could never sustain such cardboard characters.
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