Category Archives: Sara Zarr

April 2016 Reads

Took me 11 days into May, but I managed to review every book bar one, of which I only wrote a paragraph (see below).

Francesca Haig: The Map of Bones: 4 stars: Review
Cyn Balog: Dead River: 3 stars
Kelley Armstrong: Forsaken: 3 stars: Review
Meg Cabot: Proposal: 3 stars: Review
Cassie Alexander: Bloodshifted: 4 stars: Review
Sara Zarr: Story of a Girl: 3 stars: Review
Lisa Tucker: The Promised World: 3 stars: Review
Sylvia Day: One with You: 2 stars: Review

DEAD RIVER
CONTENT WARNING: Suicide and suicidal attempts. Grief. Drowning. Murder. I’d forgot this was paranormal, and went in expecting a contemporary thriller. A teen girl hates camping and the outdoors, yet still agrees to on a white water rafting weekend with her boyfriend, her best friend, and a tag-along. It does not go well. She falls out, drowns, but is rescued by a guy who’s…a ghost or something. And there’s this other ghost, and it’s all very confusing and nonsensical. But the only way the girl can access the ghostworld – namely the ghost of her dead mother – is by drowning. Yes, it gets a bit suicidal. The rafting is interesting, and the grief regarding her mother is relatable, but the paranormal element is a fail, and that epilogue is ugh.

[REVIEW] Story of a Girl – Sara Zarr

Sara Zarr
Story of a Girl
Hachette Little, Brown (US: 1st February 2008; UK: 3rd April 2008; AU: 10th April 2008)
Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Paperback) Buy (UK) Buy (CA Kindle Edition) Buy (CA Hardcover) Buy (CA Paperback) Buy (Worldwide)

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.