Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday Reads: Story of a Girl

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr.

When Deanna's father catches her having sex in a car when she is 13, her life is drastically changed. Two years later, he still can't look her in the eye, and though Tommy is the only boy she's been with, she is branded the school slut. Her entire family watches her as though she is likely to sleep with anyone she sees, and Tommy still smirks at and torments her when she sees him. Her two best friends have recently begun dating, and Deanna feels like an intruder. She tries to maintain a close relationship with her older brother, but Darren and his girlfriend are struggling as teenage parents. Deanna learns to protect herself by becoming outwardly tough, but feels her isolation acutely. Her only outlet is her journal in which she writes the story of an anonymous girl who has the same experiences and feelings that she does. Through this, readers see the potential that Deanna cannot identify in herself. This is a heartbreaking look at how a teenager can be defined by one mistake, and how it shapes her sense of self-worth.
First Sentence: "I was thirteen when my dad caught me with Tommy Webber in the back of Tommy's Buick, parked next to the old Chart House down in Montara at eleven o'clock on a Tuesday night." The entire book is very honest, starting with her no-nonsense opening page. Deanna has a unique voice in the first person narrative. Honest, at times witty, not over done.

Beefs: I never felt the Wham Bam I like in novels. The book was short, sweet, and to the point.

Brownie Points: Fantastic story about a girl learning more about herself, her family, friendship, love, confidence, and forgiveness. Through its unique plot, it weaves a tale girls should read. A fantastic coming of age and self-awareness that many girls are lacking. And the subject of sex, while not openly discussed in brutal honesty, is given enough thought to be very relevant. I like how young the character was when she first had sex (13) because as much as we don't like it, it is happening, and girls should be aware of that and its consequences (boys too).

Ending: A good story about a girl learning who she is.

Recommendation: All middle school and high school girls should read this.

Would I represent it? Hopefully I would have dug it out of my slush pile, but I might not have. It didn't have that zing.

Happy reading!


Heather said...

That's a long opening sentence! I like a lot of zing too so I'm not sure this one would be for me. However, I'm going to read it and possibly pass it on to my fourteen year old sister. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Ooh, I'd forgotten about this one on my TBR-list. Thanks for the reminder, I'll have to push it closer to the top!

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