The Compulsive Reader: Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

When Deanne was thirteen, her father caught her having sex in the backseat of her brother's friend's car. Since then, Deanne's father won't look at her, or really talk to her, and she's been labeled the school slut. She wants to escape her house and her town, and she thinks she has found the perfect solution in helping her brother, his girlfriend, and their infant daughter move into their own place. But over the course of the summer, Deanne learns that running away from one bad situation doesn't fix the real problem, and that forgiveness can come in unexpected places.

Story of a Girl is a short novel that really packs an emotional punch. Deanne's struggles to not let her past decisions and mistakes define her and prove to everyone around her that she isn't the girl they believe her to be is full of many painfully awkward encounters and a few small, triumphant moments. Zarr explores the restlessness and urge to be independent that so many young people feel, making the point that while moving away may give you a new perspective, it won't solve your problems. Deanne's feelings of displacement and isolation—at home, with her friends, and at school and work—are so relatable, and her family dynamics extremely well-drawn and emotional, verging on painful to read about. This is a great novel about moving on, forgiving, taking second chances, and going your own way. Story of a Girl is a quick read that will demand to be read in one sitting.

Cover Comments: I really like the simplicity of this cover, and I like the cover model--she's a lot like how I pictured Deanne!

Book purchased.


LinWash said...

Okay. I need to read this. THE LUCY VARIATIONS is the first Sara Zarr book I've read.

Alex (A Girl, Books, OtherThings) said...

I read this one a long while back and it kind of stablished my pattern with Sara Zarr's books: I don't enjoy them, but I can't put them down and they make me think and make me uncomfortable but in a good way.

Story of a Girl was one such story, it had so much to say and it was hard to read but I'm not sorry I did it. I actually like it a lot more than Sweethearts.