Monday, August 13, 2012

Story of a Girl: I wish I read this as a teen...

Story of a Girl
By Sara Zarr
Paperback, 192 pages
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, February 2008

When she is caught in the backseat of a car with her older brother's best friend--Deanna Lambert's teenage life is changed forever. Struggling to overcome the lasting repercussions and the stifling role of "school slut," she longs to escape a life defined by her past. With subtle grace, complicated wisdom and striking emotion, Story of a Girl reminds us of our human capacity for resilience, epiphany and redemption.

Pricky's Review
4 Emotional Stars on Goodreads

I wasn't sure if I wanted to read this: a THIRTEEN YEAR OLD caught by her dad in the backseat of a car?! I almost threw up. How in the world does a thirteen year old end up in a situation like that? And why would you even write a story about it? But I needed to find out why. Plus, it's Sara Zarr.

It's the summer after her sophomore year and Deanna is searching for a way out: out of her town, her past, her home. A way to start over. But how can you become a "new you" when everyone sees only the "old?" Especially if that "old" screams "slut."

No other story has made me feel as if I took a dive right into the past. Which by the way, I wasn't exactly sure I wanted to resurrect all that teenager confusion, misunderstanding, insecurity, and want...but at the same time, I was pretty impressed that Zarr knew exactly how to bring me right back to that 15-year-old me.

This story probably won't resonate with everyone, and I'm not really taking about the teenage "sex part." The parts that made me connect with Deanna were more about her insecurities as a teenager and the mistakes that she made and the hope that her parents still value her. As a teenager, this was exactly how I felt.

If it wasn't for Zarr's ability to take your hand and show you the light at the end of the tunnel, I probably would have abandoned this a long time ago. It's full of difficult topics and emotional rip-aparts. Characters who do unlikable things. And as a mom, I couldn't help but hope that I don't become that kind of parent...But even then, Zarr showed me our best intentions are sometimes small steps that can lead to something great. 

The only thing I did hope for more was a clearer ending...but I guess that's what life is about: you're never really sure what's to come, but you hope for the best.

I highly recommend reading this.

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