Student council president Natalie has a lot of pressure on her, and a freshman girl’s provocative behavior starts to unravel the control she’s fought so hard to maintain.
In many ways I could relate to Natalie, the first-person narrator of Not That Kind of Girl, to the point of being annoyed with her for being so blind to the feelings of everyone around her. I do get frustrated with stories that revolve around a character who either misses something critical, or who others won’t listen to. It all goes back to Mr. Snuffleupagus on Sesame Street. I used to get so upset on Big Bird’s behalf that no one would believe him. It’s why I don’t love Curb Your Enthusiasm even though I think Larry David is a comic genius. In this book, Natalie won’t listen to anyone, nor will she open up to anyone, so she ends up in this hermetically sealed world of angst that could easily be relieved if she would only let other people finish their sentences–or finish one of her own. She lives inside her own head–and I think I know a little bit about what that’s like. If I had read this book when I was a senior in high school, maybe my jaw wouldn’t have clamped shut from stress over college applications. I could’ve learned a thing or two from Natalie about how to relax and let my hair down.