STORY OF A GIRL
by Sara Zarr
Young Adult Contemporary
Brief Synopsis: Deanna Lambert is known as the "school slut," a reputation she acquired when she was thirteen and caught doing the deed in the back of a Buick with a seventeen year old boy. By her father. The story begins three years later. Her life since the incident has been a series of covert glances and whispered words, "That's her--the one who slept with Tommy. The slut."
Faced with a father who won't look at her, and a home life that is in complete shambles, all Deanna dreams about is getting out. Getting away from her family, escaping the reputation that has haunted her for three years... But as we all know, life doesn't always work out the way we expect it to.
A cover blurb states this book is "Realistic fiction at it's best."
And yeah, I'd have to agree it's a pretty darn good book. I've never been one to want to read this sort of stuff. We all want the fantasy, right? lol Well, this is about as real as it gets -- right down to having to get a crappy part-time job, wanting out of your house so much you can barely see straight...and all the stumbling blocks that arise when you finally realize your reality is nothing like your dreams. That it may never be.
Deanna is flawed...in some major ways. There are times when you want to shake her and tell her to grow up. But then you remember she's just a kid, and man, kids make mistakes. Kids dream big and fall hard. This girl has had a rough road and I'm left hoping she just makes it out of her current situation okay.
Her relationship with her father is tenuous at best, and I think Zarr nailed it on the head. There's probably nothing worse in the world than losing the faith of someone who is supposed to be your ever-present cheerleader in life. The tension between the two was just spot on.
The characters were all wonderful in their unique ways. All dealing with their own problems and goals...all well developed. Even when I couldn't stand the characters, I felt I at least understood them. I think that's one of the hardest things to pull off in writing--especially when it comes to the real or perceived antags. We need to remember that even the worst person in the world still has hopes and dreams unique to them. That they've been let down in life, too.
I can't say this book left me with a nice happy feeling, but I will say that I enjoyed it a great deal. I'll definitely keep an eye out for Zarr's next book.
Buy or Rent? Buy.