Author: Cherry Cheva
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 290
My Rating: 4.5/5
Maya is your straight-A student with her eyes glued on getting into the prestigious Stanford University. She works hard at her parents' Thai restaurant and keeps a perfect record in school. And that won't be changing any time soon. Or so she thinks.
After serving a couple of grouchy customers at the restaurant when her parents are away, she leaves the store as is to clean it up the next day instead. To her horror, those picky customers from before called for a health inspection! And the restaurant is fined... $10,000?!?
Maya is in deep, deep doodoo. Hiding the fine from her family, she must find a way to make ten grand within a month and a half! A couple of days before, she was tutoring the rich and egoistic Camden, who was offering her money to do his homework. She first refused. But now that she thinks of it, she might take up on the offer after all!
Convincing Camden took quite a bit after rejecting him in the first place but eventually he agrees! Except how can Maya earn enough by only "tutoring" one person? Then the two devise a plan. A plan where Maya will have to lie to the people who trust her and to do things that are against her morals.
The very first thing I want to comment on and get out of the way is: I am pretty mad with the cover. The whole time before I started the novel, I kept thinking that Maya was some sort of Caucasian girl. Yes, I knew the author was Asian but it didn't dawn me that she would have her character Asian too. Imagine my surprise when the first sentence revealed that Maya was Thai! Don't get me wrong, I was so happy to see an Asian protagonist (because there is practically none nowadays in YA fiction)! But it made me want to scream at the book and shake it like I'm choking a person, "How dare you fool me?!"
If you guys were around the YA blogosphere in the past couple of months, there had been talks about Justine Larbalestier's Liar cover. It was where her main girl is African American with short hair but the publisher made the cover girl white with long hair. It was like betraying the reader about the novel and that was how I felt when I started She's So Money. But that didn't last long before I got into the story.
I have only read one other review for She's So Money and the reviewer hated it. So when I was reading, the entire time I kept worrying that I was going to dislike it. But surprisingly (and thankfully), I didn't!
What I absolutely love about this novel is that the characters are real. Especially Camden. He may be good-looking but he is not some brooding loner with an air of mystery around him. No, he is cocky, blunt, and doesn't give a rat-ass about your opinion of him. He is a womanizer and any girl within a meter of him will either give him their immense hate or their virginity. And you know what? I frikkin love the guy (never in real life though...)! Sure he is like the enemy-of-all-women, but he is real. I know of some people that are similar to him. But I don't know of any mysterious dude who seems to always pop up everywhere. And you know what else? Camden might be failing in school but he has a mind of a determined businessman if he gets it going. Seriously, you'd want him as your boss. His connections are scary yo.
And Maya is just as real. I have a friend who is exactly like her. They both freak out if they get lower than an A (let alone A-) and is always the goody-goody two-shoes. I mean, normal girls in novels are common nowadays but I guess nerdy Asians aren't as much as they are in real life. But the thing is, Maya is not good from beginning to end. She makes a mistake and learns from it. The hard way. Literally, I'm applauding for her. Instead of some broken character who has a tragic life, Maya comes from a normal family with expectations. And she is flawed because the freedom of her parents got to her head (like any other teen), even when it is brief. Her small mistake has her going off the handle completely! And it's interesting to see how she and Camden grows from there.
I really loved seeing the relationship between the two. Even though their romance was not delved into, I still sort of envied it from afar. There were parts when I went, "Noooo! How can you do that?!?" and then others where I am going "Luckyluckylucky". Sigh.
She's So Money is a fun read between two people who are complete polar opposites. Seeing Maya trying to get 10 grand with Camden makes the reader wonder how they are going to manage. This is the novel for you if any of the points above intrigued you!
Won copy from In Bed With Books.