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Just a Girl Hardcover – March 28, 2017
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“There’s nothing simple about being just a girl, and this resonant, thoughtful novel makes that abundantly, stunningly clear.” (Booklist (starred review))
“An authentic, smart read for older teens.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Mesrobian offers another honest and emotionally charged look at the secret lives of teenage girls. Raw and never sensationalized, this title is for readers who like contemporary YA fiction with a realistically dark edge.” (School Library Journal)
“Mesrobian writes meaningfully about the complexity, intensity, and double standards of teenage sexuality.” (Publishers Weekly)
About the Author
Carrie Mesrobian teaches writing to teens in Minneapolis, where she lives with her husband and daughter. Her debut novel, Sex & Violence, was named a Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, in addition to being nominated for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award. She has also written Just a Girl, Perfectly Good White Boy, and Cut Both Ways. Learn more about her and her fake boyfriends at www.carriemesrobian.com, or follow her on Twitter @carriemesrobian.
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But when she meets Sergei, she starts wanting him. Never mind that she is at a crossroads in her life, with her mother giving her an ultimatum to get her life in order and move out, her future plans to live with her best friends abruptly disbanded – now she doesn’t know what she wants, except for him. And she goes for it, even though she knows it is wrong that she is cheating on Luke. Now, I’m all for a girl being comfortable with her sexuality, but cheating is where I draw the line. And as for breaking up with Luke, she does it in the worst way possible, and she doesn’t even berate Sergei for it. Speaking of Sergei, please tell me I am not the only one who found him problematic – he is older than her, likes violence, gives her an ultimatum but makes the decisions for her. Like, that is certainly grounds for a stable relationship. Sure, he makes her come multiple times, but is that really what you want to run away from your seemingly boring life for?
Look, I am never one for advising what teens should not read. But this book has me considering that. Because even with the realistic depiction of a girl’s sexuality and psyche, I do not think it is advisable to encourage the message being sent by the ending of this book. Also, guy whisks you off because you have given up on making it on your own, and you be happy? That is the sort of message you want to give to young girls? Really? Not to mention how dangerous it would be in reality to run off with a guy when you DON’T EVEN KNOW HIS FREAKING LAST NAME! These are the kinds of stories that make the evening news, not the basis for a coming-of-age novel!
Anyway, even if I got past that ending, this book doesn’t have much to commend for itself. The pacing is super slow, and if I was this close to not DNFing it. I thought, you know what, maybe the ending will make this directionless plot have some sense, like it would be something that would make me look past the utter boredom I felt despite the good writing. But it was like watching a wet firework burn and hoping it will go on and then it just fizzles out – that is what I felt when I finished this book.
I know we all love books that feels like a rollercoaster ride; and I think that's the reason why I didn't get to love this as much as I wanted to... because it didn't give me that rollercoaster-kind-of-feeling. It's frustrating how it has a potential to become a great book because of the social issues it has, but then... writing style destroyed the potential. :( I feel so sad for the lost potential.
Despite the fact that I didn't like the writing style, I still had some things that I loved about it. The thing I love most about it is its theme. It's clearly stated in the title, "Just a Girl." You see, the society has all its way to stereotype girls (or females) who drink, party, loves having fun, takes life easily, etc... Like, what? Why? I still can't understand why most people can say bad stuff about girls who are just being... a girl... If you have some thoughts about this, please comment down below so I could also think about it. ;)
**A review copy was sent to me by the publisher but it does not affect my opinion.**