Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

“…and in my head I wrote the story of a girl who surfed the cold green ocean, when one day she started paddling in the wrong direction and didn’t know it until she looked back and couldn’t see the shore.”

Since she was 13, Deanna Lambert has been known as that girl; the girl that got caught having sex in a car with a senior by her dad. No matter what version of the story is told, she’s always the slut in the car, and when you hear something enough you start to believe it yourself. Years later she still can’t shake the reputation, even her dad hasn’t forgiven her. She’s lonely and sad and she can’t stop from making stupid mistakes, but she knows she wants better and she’s starting to believe she deserves it.

Story of a Girl is a very tender look at a flawed individual as she learns about forgiveness and redemption. I didn’t find Deanna that compelling of a character, but I enjoyed her story and her process of moving on from the person her community had made her out to be. The pacing is very well done and any reader would find it difficult to put down. There was a lot of supporting characters which in some ways distracted from the story, but there were a few like Darren, Michael and even Tommy that were wonderfully created. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever read, and I feel like the storyline is actually pretty common, but I definitely enjoyed reading it and I think that it would have a lot of appeal to those who typically read real life fiction.

You might enjoy Story of a Girl if you like books with: real life issues, a character that experiences growth and more of a focus on character development than storyline

Also by Sarah Zarr: Sweethearts and Once Was Lost

If you liked Story of a Girl you might also enjoy: Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti and Just Listen by Sarah Dessen.

Additional Info: was a 2007 National Book Award finalist.

Author website found here.

Rating: W2.5/4   C2.5/4   P2.5/4   O1.5/4   PP3/4   CR3/4 (I also LOVE the title)

Grade Level: JS

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