February 02, 2012

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

Published: January 10th 2007
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Format : Paperback
Pages: 192
Source : Borrowed from library
Buy : Amazon | Book Depository

When she is caught in the backseat of a car with her older brother's best friend, Deanna Lambert's teenage life is changed forever.

Struggling to overcome the lasting repercussions and the stifling role of "school slut," she 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.

Deanna was 13 when her father caught her having sex in a car, with her big brother's best friend. After that, everyone in her life are stuck in that moment. Even when she's already 16 years old. Her father has never really talk to her after that, her mother avoids any conversation. Her big brother knocked up his girlfriend - even though they're kids themselves - and Deanna has a best friend, Jason. And she's interested in Jason, there's just one problem - he's dating her other best friend, Lee.

As I mentioned earlier, I had some mixed emotions about this book. Unfortunately they were emotions like sadness and rage. Rage, because a 17 year old guy basically had sex with a child, and that child is called slut? Something I will never get.
Especially when the person who hates you the most for that, is your own father. But it's pretty obvious that her father has some issues himself, issues that has nothing to do with the main character.

I was also shocked, and mad, to see the hillbilly- attitude. Meaning "don't do that, or you'll get in trouble.." (by a guy who knocked up his girlfriend!!) and "be a good girl". Especially the good girl part is repeated over and over again.
Meaning, don't have sex with anyone ever again, or you're a huge slut and you've disappointed us all, AGAIN. What the hell, seriously?? Okay, now I'm getting angry again!

Deanna is sort of white trash, but I wouldn't hate her for that. Because she's actually, in the end, trying to change her life. In the beginning of the book she, and everyone else, are dwelling in the past. It was sad. And annoying.
At one point, I was actually screaming out loud because I was so frustrated. I think it was this part:

".. And me because, well, no one wants the school slut for a daughter. Technically, I'm not a slut, because there was only ever Tommy, but it's hard to defend myself on a technicality when things happened the way they did."

I made notes to that: "GET OVER IT!! IT WAS THREE YEARS AGO!!11 AAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!!!!!!"
You can translate that into something like: "If you're not proud of yourself, everyone will always think of you as the school slut. So stop dwelling in the past and be proud of what you've become, even if you can't be proud of what you were."

Yeah, I know, hard for a 16 year old, but there still are things you can do.
Like we see at the end of the book. The sentences I quoted are from the beginning of the book, I basically screamed first 60 pages, but after that it got more interesting and less condescending, so I could actually enjoy the story :)

Of course I'd like to know if Jason and Deanna ever had future together? Unfortunately, that I will never know. *sigh*

Sara Zarr is the acclaimed author of three novels for young adults: Story of a Girl (National Book Award Finalist), Sweethearts (Cybil Award Finalist), and Once Was Lost (a Kirkus Best Book of 2009).

Her short fiction and essays have also appeared in Image, Hunger Mountain, and several anthologies. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, and online at www.sarazarr.com

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