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Brave New Girl Paperback – February 1, 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gr. 10-12. Angry and alienated teens seem to be growing ever younger. Doreen, the protagonist of this disturbing coming-of-age novel, is only 14. But in her anomie and hatred of her family, she puts Holden Caulfield in the shade. Like Holden, she tells the story in sarcastic first-person, which is often scalding in its use of expletives (at one point the f word appears 63 times in one and on-half pages), but still manages to be oddly artful in its consistency and voice. Despite her tough talk and her tendency to self-pity, Doreen gradually grows into a complex, intriguing character. Her affection for another young outsider, her only friend, Ted, is touching; her longing for her older brother, whom her father kicked out of the house when she was a girl, is haunting; and her confused feelings for her older sister's boyfriend are absolutely credible. When he sexually abuses her, readers share her pain, confusion, and despair. The ending to this difficult story is surprisingly hopeful and emotionally satisfying, if not entirely believable. This was published for adults, but it's clearly for teens--though it will best suit those readers mature enough to embrace its attitudes and edginess. Michael Cart
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From the Back Cover

A fourteen-year-old trying to find her way in the world, Doreen is as much an outcast at school as she is at home. Marginalized by her peers, misunderstood by her parents, and mourning the loss of her older brother who disappeared when she was just a child, Doreen finds solace in her fierce love of music and in her best friend, Ted.

But when her older sister begins dating a bewildering twenty-one-year-old named Matthew, Doreen must confront feelings she never knew she possessed. Forced into adulthood kicking and screaming (not to mention swearing), Doreen ultimately impels her troubled family to forge a new understanding of the world -- and, maybe more surprisingly, of one another.

High school is bad enough; it's worse when you have only one friend in the world and a family that just doesn't get it. This breathless coming-of-age novel explores the alienation of adolescence and introduces a bold and shimmering new voice in fiction.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: MTV Books; Original ed. edition (February 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743407865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743407861
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #988,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Luna succeeds in creating a very specific atmosphere in this book - both of time and of place. She perfectly captures the intensity of teenage emotion (especially in the passages about The Pixies...I've never read a novelist write so well about the intensity with which a young person can love a certain band). She also writes well about Pasadena in the summertime (and by extension, Southern California in general).

Her descriptions evoked for me not merely an idea of what Doreen's life is like, but the actual feeling in the pit of my stomach of the corresponding episodes in my own life. Even when I didn't relate to Doreen's specific experiences, I had the feeling that when I was young I expected my life to be like Doreen's, and I think this is because the book has a sort of universal coming-of-age feel that another reviewer (mistakenly) called cliched. This coming-of-age appeal can be described as the intensity of The Wonder Years' nostalgia mixed with the irreverence and balanced good-bad truth of Catcher in the Rye.

I expected this to be about on par with The Perks of Being a Wallflower, as it was published by MTV press at about the same time. While it is a good companion piece (could be the female-version of Chboksy's novel), the writing far surpasses Perks as Luna has a talent for evoking exact and specific emotions that few contemporary writers of young adult fiction can approach. Very very highly reccomended...
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Format: Paperback
When I first picked up Brave New Girl, I thought it would be another dreadfully identical teenage angst book with a girl who hates her parents and hates her friends. But no, Brave New Girl never failed to amaze me. Following Doreen throughout her life is new and exciting, as she goes through the perils of childhood. It surprized me that Brave New Girl was actually laugh aloud funny, on numerous occasions because it doesn't look like it would be. The book is fun to read, and despite the fact that it isn't extremely long, the story is so captivating it's hard to put it down without wanting more.
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Format: Paperback
This is truly an amazing book. The author takes you deep inside the mind of a young girl and nearly crushes you with the experience. The language is strong and pure, and the voice of Doreen pulled me through the book like a steel hook. It gripped me. I don't usually like books about 'girls growing up', but this is a true work of art. I've never heard of this author before, but I'm sure we'll hear of her again. I'd recommend it to anyone.
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By A Customer on October 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
With only one friend and a family who doesn't understand her, Doreen faces the challenges of being a teenager and trying to discover who she is and where she belongs. She longs for connection with an older brother she never knew and develops an interest in her sister's boyfriend. When the actions of one night force her into adulthood forever, she must confront the people who she has held at a distance resulting in an ending that is raw, believable and touching. Told in a first person narrative style, readers will empathize with Doreen's anger and frustration. Also, the vivid descriptions of how Doreen uses music to escape is something to which many teens can relate. This edgy, realistic first novel by Louisa Luna uses uncensored language and situations that provide a reflection of a teen culture desperate for attention, understanding and love. Recommended for readers in grades 10-12
As a library school student focusing on young adult literature and services, I felt the strength of this book was the credibility given to the readers. Luna trusts teens to be able to handle tough dialog, feelings and situations. The angst that is portrayed is not overdramatic or misplaced, but strikingly honest.Doreen is a captivating protagonist whose inner struggles are translated by a very gifted new author. I am excited to read other MTV books and hope to hear more from this author in the future.
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Format: Paperback
I was not a big reader at all, not until I found this stunning book by Louisa Luna. I am a 21 year old University student, and thought I might be too old for this book. Turns out I was wrong, I think I became so personally attached to this book because I was ALOT like Doreen when I was her age. She is sarcastic, has only one close male friend, has nothing in common with her older popular sister, is a tom boy who acts so tough on the outside, but it is evident that she longs for more, she longs to be desired and she feels that she needs to make it her mission to save her long-lost brother (so to say, I don't want to give much away). She finds compfort in her favorite band, The Pixies.
The most interesting thing about this novel is the way that Doreen reacts to a certain circumstance that occurs in the story; like most young girls her insecurities take over and she blames herself for what has happened, when really she was only an innocent, young girl trying to find her place in this world, thinking she was following her heart.The ending of this story is outstanding, it definatly pulled the whole thing together.
Although this novel is small, I gave it 5 stars because the emotion was so true, and something I could relate to, and i found myself thinking about Doreen even when I put the book down. I imagine its not for everyone, but if you enjoy coming of age stories about young females trying to find a place for themeselves, I would highly recommened Brave New Girl.
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