Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Read This: This Girl Is Different

This Girl Is Different 
by JJ Johnson

The Short Story 
Evie has been homeschooled by her "power to the people" hippy mom her whole life, but decides to spend senior year at the local high school. But she gets more than she bargained for as she realizes that not all adults treat teens like adults, and that she might buy into stereotypes and labels more than she thought. Quirky, novel read that appealed to my social justice loving, education major side.

Come for the...
social justice activism. Evie's mom sends her off to high school ingrained with the idea that she needs to fight the man, without seeming to know much about Evie's specific school. It's somewhat convenient that Evie does find a cause to fight for. But I enjoyed Johnson's critiques on the American high school system. (I was not surprised to read that Johnson has a Master's in Education.) It was fun to watch Evie struggle with rules that were pointless, power struggles between students and teachers, and feel the pressure of jumping through hoops just to get into a good college.

But what made me really like the book was that it wasn't the story of a free-spirited thinker who goes into a backward school and shows everyone the light.  Even Evie has things to learn, and I think her growth is some of the most satisfying.

Stay for the
quotes at the beginning of each chapter; Evie's house; the graphic novel-esque cover.

Don't think about this too hard
  • Sometimes I had to remind myself to suspend my disbelief, especially when it came to a couple of the high school teachers.
  • My "it's getting cheesy" radar went off at times

The Big Three
Language: some swearing
Sex and Stuff: fairly descriptive making out; intentionally cringey innuendo
Violence: not an issue

Just so you know
I got a free copy of this book from NetGalley and Peachtree Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. Did anyone else think there was a giant bug shooting lightening out of its pincers on the cover? Or was it just me? It's actually just a cloud, and it actually makes sense with the story. But I still see a giant bug.