Cover image for The smart one and the pretty one
The smart one and the pretty one
LaZebnik, Claire Scovell.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : 5 Spot, [2008]

Physical Description:
viii, 290 pages ; 21 cm
Subject Term:
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FICTION Adult Fiction Central Library
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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"This sparkling novel about two sisters is both witty and stylish. Even if you don't have a sister of your own, you won't be able to resist LaZebnik's charming take on modern relationships. Read it!"
- Holly Peterson, bestselling author of The Manny

When Ava Nickerson was a child, her mother jokingly betrothed her to a friend's son, and the contract the parents made has stayed safely buried for years. Now that still-single Ava is closing in on thirty, no one even remembers she was once "engaged" to the Markowitz boy. But when their mother is diagnosed with cancer, Ava's prodigal little sister Lauren comes home to Los Angeles where she stumbles across the decades-old document.
Frustrated and embarrassed by Ava's constant lectures about financial responsibility (all because she's in a little debt. Okay, a lot of debt), Lauren decides to do some sisterly interfering of her own and tracks down her sister's childhood fiancé. When she finds him, the highly inappropriate, twice-divorced, but incredibly charming Russell Markowitz is all too happy to re-enter the Nickerson sisters' lives, and always-accountable Ava is forced to consider just how binding a contract really is . . .

Author Notes

Claire LaZebnik lives inLos Angeles with her TV writer husband and four children. She is the author of the novels Knitting Under the Influence (5 Spot, 2006) and Same as it Never Was and co-author of Overcoming Autism: Finding the Answers, Strategies, and Hope That Can Transform a Child's Life.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ava is the smart sister, an L.A. lawyer who hasn't dated in years. Lauren is the pretty sister, an unemployed New York stylist buried in debt. Lauren returns to L.A. when their mother is diagnosed with breast cancer. Between chauffeuring her to chemo appointments, Lauren finds an old contract betrothing Ava to Russell, the son of family friends, and decides a reunion is in order. Though Ava finds herself uncharacteristically falling for Russell, she can't believe a man would choose her over her glamorous sister. She nearly lets her skepticism ruin her shot at love until Lauren meddles again. LaZebnik, author of Knitting under the Influence (2006), writes a funny and endearing novel that truly captures the devotion and rivalry between sisters. Whether they relate to the smart one or the pretty one (or both), readers will find this book irresistible.--Walker, Aleksandra Copyright 2008 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In the winning latest from Knitting Under the Influence author LaZebnik, sisters Ava and Lauren Nickerson look a lot alike, but hyperpractical attorney Ava, 29, wears dowdy clothes and holds men at arm's length, while flashy, debt-ridden boutique owner Lauren, a few years younger, goes for the quick romantic fix. Drawn together in L.A. by their mother's illness, they determine to straighten each other out. Soon Ava ropes Lauren onto a budget, while Lauren, having uncovered a playful contract in which their parents jokingly betrothed Ava at age eight to a neighbor's young son, decides to find out if the grown-up two--who are strangers--might indeed make a match. The fact that fiance-designate Russell Markowitz proves to be twice-divorced presents no obstacle to Lauren, especially after she learns that he works in the clothing industry and might be of assistance in making over Ava. Despite the lightweight premise, moments of real depth combine with witty dialogue as LaZebnik deftly spins each turn convincingly to avoid easy answers. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

LaZebnik (Knitting Under the Influence; Same As It Never Was) has written another alluring tale of two seemingly different sisters, Ava and Lauren. Both think they have the answers for how the other sibling should live, ignoring some glaring gaps in their own personal history. Ava is the successful lawyer who can always be found in the frumpiest of frocks, whereas her younger sister lights up a room with her fashionable wardrobe but is now financially depleted because of it. When Ava decides to have Lauren sign a contract that states she will spend money only on necessities, Lauren humorously and affectionately decides that Ava should be held accountable to a "contract" their mother agreed to over 20 years ago that betrothed her to one Russell Markowitz. After Lauren tracks Russell down in an attempt to hook him up with her sister, Ava meets him and is erroneously convinced that Lauren is more his stylish type. It takes tender family bonding and some self-discovery for the two to realize that they are more alike than they thought. Recommended for fans of intelligent chick lit and all public libraries.--Anne Miskewitch, Chicago P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.