Notable (Smith High #3) by Marni Bates
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Kensington Books
Pages: 273 pages
Source: Goodreads Giveaway
Reviewed By:Kate McMurry
Chelsea Halloway reigns supreme at her high school, but her home life is a shambles due to her parents' going through a vicious divorce. In addition, her mother frequently belittles Chelsea's intelligence, and it's impossible for her to avoid taking those cutting comments seriously because Chelsea's boyfriend recently dumped her for the smartest girl in school. Then, as if her life wasn't already in bad enough shape, Chelsea's parents decide to ship her off to Cambodia for a study-abroad trip. Chelsea is completely out of her element, not only because it is a foreign country whose language she doesn't speak, but because everyone else on the trip is a college student. Worst of all, their group runs afoul of a dangerous drug lord, and it's clear to Chelsea that the professor in charge of their trip isn't capable of saving them. It's up to her to figure out a way to get them all out of the country alive.
This is the third book in the young-adult, chick-lit, Awkward series. It has a hugely different focus than the first two books, not merely because the protagonist is the quintessential "Mean Girl" who has been an unlikeable antagonist in the first two books, but also because the setting is completely different. Rather than occurring in the familiar YA setting of a typical high school in the United States, it takes place in an exotic, foreign country, and the story includes elements of action-adventure, rather than the non-dangerous, chick-lit, comedy of errors offered in the rest of this series. There is still plenty of humor, though, and Chelsea is a sympathetic heroine because she grows tremendously in this story, demonstrating a great deal of moral and physical courage under very trying circumstances.
There is a romantic subplot in this book, but the main focus is "girl power," as is the case for both of the other books in this series. Overall, this is an amusing and endearing chick lit novel, and anyone who enjoys that type of comedy will find this an entertaining read.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book as part of a Goodreads Giveaway.
I rate this book as follows:
Chick-Lit Plot: 5
Action-Adventure Plot: 4
Romantic Subplot: 5