Thursday, January 29, 2009

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

Sheer curiosity drove me to finish this book. That and the fact that I had really wanted to take part in the YA book discussion at the library but, alas, I wasn't able to go because I became sick instead.
Anyway, I'm not from the world as the main character, Deanna, knew it. My whole existence was completely different from this book. So, for me this book was more fiction than realistic fiction as it was termed to be. I couldn't relate with Deanna or even some of the characters in her life. It felt weird to me that I felt sorry for her parents instead of for her. I had wished Deanna hadn't misunderstood them and I hoped that they were actually worried for her even though it always felt like they weren't or that they never cared. I felt sorry for the teenage parents, Darren and Stacy, and their little girl, April, too. I never could tell what I really thought about Tommy, the guy whom Deanna was caught red-handed with by her father, and he had been her brother's best friend and he kept showing up in her life - that was completely confusing for me. I really don't think I liked him but he did seem to change a bit toward the end - was it good or bad?
I could relate to Deanna's friend, Lee and I remember trying to have similar real conversations with friends in high school that Lee tried to have with Deanna, out of curiosity about sex and they ended up just as badly too. Those friendships never quite recovered either like they do in the book and I hadn't ever considered the guilt that the other person had been feeling until it was illustrated in the book. I feel sad about that now.
I did like the character, Michael, but not because of Deanna's descriptions of him but because of how nice he always tried to be to her. I would've like to have known more about him.
Throughout this book, I was hoping for some more "hopeful moments" but those didn't show up until about pg. 172 which now I consider was how it was most likely meant to be and perhaps the point of the book. There were scenes in the book that I don't care to ever remember and I didn't like how it made me feel.
This book seemed to be paced fairly well for this type, I think. Incidentally, this book helped me understand one of David Cook's new songs better called Declaration though. Cool.
Overall, I didn't care for this book and I wouldn't recommend it. If I did, I would have to tell them that it is not a clean read.
I do understand that a lot of people have liked this book and there a lot of great reviews all over the internet. I have nothing against this book or the author but it just wasn't for me. I think this author has a lot of potential and I do happen to know that her other book is called Sweethearts, and maybe it is good. After all, it did make the American Library Association list of Best Books for Young Adults.

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