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Story of a Girl Paperback – 2008
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Sara Zarr's moving "Story of a Girl" tells just this tale from the point of view of sixteen-year-old Deanna Lambert. At age 13, Deanna was caught "in the act" with her older brother's best friend. By her father. Oh, and Deanna and the boy were in a parked car.
Small towns being what they are, it takes only a day for Deanna's story to spread throughout Pacifica. From that moment on Deanna is the "school sl*t" (despite the fact she's avoided boys since the incident) and at home life isn't much better. Dad--nearly three years later--has yet to recover from finding his daughter in a car with a seventeen-year-old boy and he barely talks to Deanna.
"Story of a Girl" opens on the final day of Deanna's sophomore year. She's feeling stuck--in her small town, in her reputation, and in her family. Zarr does a great job in showing the depression--economic and emotional--of a place down on its luck. Deanna's only job option is a rundown pizza joint. Her parents professional lives have been downsized--Mom working in a Mervyns and Dad in an auto parts supply store. Deanna's much-loved older brother lives in the basement with his new wife and baby. Deanna's brother and his wife work in the grocery store. With everyone working retail hours, no one is home at the same time and the house is sliding into disrepair.
Deanna dreams of escape--of saving her money and moving out with her brother and his family. But escape is hard to come by when you are sixteen and live in a small town. Instead, Deanna must come to terms with what happened and forgive herself and others. Over the course of just this one summer, Deanna, with a few mistakes along the way, finds peace with herself, her reputation, her town, and her family. It's a beautiful gem of a book, one that will stay with me forever.
Now sixteen, even though she has dated no one and done nothing, Deanna has been unable to shake her bad reputation. The only classmates she calls friends, Lee and Jason, are dating each other. She feels like a third wheel when they hang out - and a stab of jealousy when she sees Lee wearing Jason's shirt.
Deanna's new job at a pizza place almost offers her more than she can handle. She is surprised to find a new friend in Michael, the middle-aged manager, and even more surprised to find Tommy, her brother's old friend, as a co-worker. Deanna stays put, determined not to let Tommy's presence get the best of her.
At home, she finds reprieve from her brisk father and her nervous mother in her brother Darren, who lives in the basement with his girlfriend and their infant. Deanna secretly wants to move out with Darren, Stacy, and April, planning on contributing to their rent and bills with her modest paycheck.
During this impressionable summer, Deanna realizes that maybe, just maybe, she can stop worrying about who people think she is and become who she is meant to be. That instead of looking back, she can look forward.
Although I felt like a lot of the relationships depicted in the book were raw and really realistic, I kept feeling like the relationship between Deanna and her father was a little too over the top to be believable. I felt like they should have made more progress in their relationship in three years, especially since Deanna seems not to have put a foot wrong in those three years. Since they were so close before the incident when Deanna was thirteen, it felt a little off to me that their relationship would break down so completely and just stay broken for years.
In contrast, I thought Deanna's relationship with her brother was very authentic, and I loved the book's portrayals of her friendships with Lee and Jason. Zarr does a wonderful job in portraying the ups and downs of friendships - especially the difficulties of trios - and I liked the way the relationships between Deanna, Lee and Jason grow and change throughout the book. Zarr definitely has a great understanding of how teenage relationships work, and it was nice to see such a real depiction of that.
I did like the messages that Story of a Girl communicated, about how stifling life in a small town can be, and the injustice of how one poor choice in your past can completely change how you are perceived by your peers.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My girlfriend loves books and she read this a long time ago so I got it for her and she says it's a great book. She was very happy with the fast shipping too.Published 28 days ago by Tyler Bowker
CONTENT WARNING: Slut-shaming is a major theme here, told from the POV of the victim.
This is the second book in a row I've read that features a heroine in love with her... Read more
I just couldn't get into this story. I think the brother's girlfriend grossed me out too much. And the main character is too much of a drip.Published 8 months ago by ilike_teacups
Story of a Girl is a novel well worth reading for adults and mature young adults (I read it as an adult and can’t say how I would have reacted if I had read it as a teenager). Read morePublished 16 months ago by Laura Schuff
The Story of a Girl is an interesting story giving in-depth insight to the hardships and struggles of a low-class blue collar American family. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
Deanna Lambert has kinda a sh!tty life. She got caught having sex with Tommy Webber when she was 13 and he was 17 by her father - now, three years later, her life is still marred... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Crystal Starr Light
Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr surprised me by its sincere authenticity. At first when I started reading the book, I thought it may turn out to be too much teenage drama for me--... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Sarah Martin
Zarr’s debut novel truly deserves all the praise it’s received. The characters are realistic, the development of the story is interesting, and the theme of forgiveness is portrayed... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Tesia Tsai