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How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life

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When she can’t answer the dean’s first question — ”What do you like to do for fun?” — in her Harvard admissions interview, goal-oriented Opal Mehta redirects her cerebral energy to the pursuit of popularity, Manolo Blahniks, and throwing the perfect kegger. ”What if Harvard rejected me,” she frets, ”because I couldn’t prove myself to be a whole, desirable woman?” Opal is a refreshing departure from the boozy, promiscuous Gossip Girls who dominate the YA market, but the obvious just-be-yourself lesson in Kaavya Viswanathan’s How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life falls flat. By the end, even Opal’s Ivy League ambitions feel shallow.