Friday, December 20, 2013

Customer Review - Story of a Girl

Story of a Girl
by Sara Zarr [j Zarr or jPB Zarr]

Winner of the 2007 National Book Award, Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr is the sympathetic story of a teenage girl caught having sex in the back of a car by her father. Deanna longs to escape a life defined by that one mistake. Her former friends refuse to associate with her. Most boys now view her as a sex object; waiting in line for Chinese take-out, an older boy puts his hands between her legs from behind. What is perhaps most heart-breaking is that Deanna's dad hasn't talked to her or looked at her since that night. As I reread Story of a Girl, I tried to figure out why Sara Zarr is one of my favorite authors. An obvious answer is that Zarr creates interesting stories populated with realistic characters. I appreciated how Zarr dangled a hope in front of readers that Deanna could escape her life by renting an apartment with Darren and Stacey. It's a realistic goal, and potentially life-changing. I also appreciated how well Zarr understands relationships. One of my favorite scenes is between Deanna and her brother. Darren is trying to figure out why Stacey left. Deanna suggests perhaps it's because he didn't have the right reaction to Stacey's dyed hair. When he pushes for an explanation, Deanna says that with Stacey's new hair style, she could have become anyone. A less obvious answer to the question of why Zarr is one of my favorite authors is that she writes about faith in her books. Zarr never preaches, and none of her stories are salvation ones, but her positive view of God shines through. Compared to many other young adult books, Story of a Girl is shorter in length and quieter in tone. In some ways, therefore, it's less suspenseful. And yet perhaps it's that very essence, its everyday realism, that makes it resonate so strongly. -- review submitted by Allison H.-F. - a customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

New Customer Reviews appear regularly in the pages of the BookGuide web site, particularly during the Summer Reading Program. You can visit the Customer Reviews page to see them all and/or submit your own, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually as we receive them.

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