The Literature Hub
Reviewed by Ashleigh
Author: Sara Zarr
Publisher & Pages: Little, Brown and Company (Hachette Book Group), 192 pages
Blurb: I was thirteen when my dad caught me with Tommy Webber in the back of Tommy’s Buick, parked next to the old Chart House down in Montara at eleven o’clock on a Tuesday night. Tommy was seventeen and the supposed friend of my brother, Darren.
I didn’t love him.
I’m not sure I even liked him.
In a moment, Deanna Lambert’s teenage life is changed forever. Struggling to overcome the lasting repercussions and the stifling role of “school slut,” Deanna 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.
Highlight: Deanna is the perfect example of how resilient humans can be.
Caution: Sometimes the story felt a bit flat.
Highlight: I could feel what Deanna was feeling.
Caution: Sometimes it seems like this book was meant for studying in high school, not reading for enjoyment.
Review: I love Deanna. I love how gutsy and resilient she is. She made one mistake as a young teenager, and years later she’s still facing and still struggling with the consequences. Her father hates her, her family is hanging on by a thread, and the guy she slept with has come back to haunt her very existence.
Deanna was lonely and vulnerable, and when her older brother’s best friend came into the picture and made her feel special, she grabbed on and didn’t let go. This story perfectly highlights how vulnerable teenagers can easily be corrupted.
What’s more, as Deanna dealt with the harsh consequences of her actions, I felt her emotions. They weren’t just words on the page. They were more than that. I could empathise with her. Like Deanna, I was bullied at high school too (although I never figured out why, unlike Deanna who knew the reason behind her bullying). When Deanna broke down because of the emotional stress, I could feel myself breaking down too. I really connected with the character, and I think a lot of lonely kids will connect with her too.
On the downside, sometimes Deanna’s way of coping involved hiding things and showing no emotion, and as a result, sometimes the story felt a bit flat.
Nevertheless, Story of a Girl is a great read, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who has ever felt alone in their lifetime.
Star Rating: 3 ½ Stars
Available in: Paperback, Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook. Translated into French, Vietnamese, Italian, Dutch, Korean.