Story of a Girl
Hachette Little, Brown (US: 1st February 2008; UK: 3rd April 2008; AU: 10th April 2008)
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CONTENT WARNING: Slut-shaming is a major theme here, told from the POV of the victim.
This is the second book in a row I’ve read that features a heroine in love with her male best friend who’s in a relationship with their other female best friend. Weird coincidence. (Or is this common in YA?)
Sara Zarr has crafted an uncomfortable novel of the less-than-ideal situations that strike families and alter their relationships. Parents laid off from their long-time jobs. Older brother’s girlfriend falls pregnant, decides to keep the baby, and everyone lives in the same house.
And then there’s Deanna, who’s sixteen now. At the age of thirteen, her father caught her in the backseat of a car with an older guy. Deanna’s dad is paranoid she’ll get pregnant, and so doesn’t trust her alone with a guy.
When her plan falls through, Deanna’s fear of the future is so real that it hurts to read. Though Story of a Girl ends optimistically, there are many struggles to get to that stage. It’s not an easy read, but it’s an important one that’ll likely ring true for a lot of readers.