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Story of a Girl

de Sara Zarr

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1,2958614,874 (3.67)57
In the three years since her father caught her in the back seat of a car with an older boy, sixteen-year-old Deanna's life at home and school has been a nightmare, but while dreaming of escaping with her brother and his family, she discovers the power of forgiveness.
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*** Minor spoilers**

The front of this book contains a blurb quoting this as realistic fiction at its best.....ha ha! This book reads like it was written by a Mother as a scare tactic, to convince her daughter of the dangers that await if she does the things she's been warned against. Its definitely not realistic.

Deanna ...the main female protagonist...is 16 yrs old. When she was 13 she was caught by her Father having sex with her brothers 17 yr old friend.....this supposedly ruined her life....she's branded the school slut, she's bullied, picked on and other boys even believe they can touch her without permission. It's been 3 yrs, but it even interferes with her getting a job in town, her Dad hears ppl at work talking about her, and her Father no longer speaks to her, and now believes she's a promiscuous girl who will sleep with everyone.

Its all completely unrealistic! She wouldn't be the school slut for sleeping with one boy....everyone is dating and sleeping around in their teens. She wouldn't be bullied or ostracized, young girls are almost always envied by their peers when dating older boys......I dated an 18 yr old at 14......he's now my hubby, 5 children and 30 yrs later LOL!

The idea that anyone in town would know or care about who she's sleeping with and refuse to hire her or gossip about her is absolutely absurd!

It even contains the obligatory pregnant teen....Deannas brother got his girlfriend pregnant, and they now have a baby.

Deanna herself is an almost unbearable character.....she's immature, selfish, a bad friend, and cries at least once every chapter......she's a perpetual victim.

That said......if you can get past the ridiculousness of the plot and how insufferable the main protagonist is......the book does offer some enjoyable qualities. The supporting cast is interesting and Zarrs writing style is fetching.

I'd recommend this read with warnings about the unbelievablity......or to tween/teens you're trying to control.....maybe as part of a scared straight program LOL! ( )
  Jfranklin592262 | Aug 17, 2023 |
Relatable.

This book is a reminder that you can’t run from yourself. No matter where you go, you’re still going to be you— and you’ll still have to deal with the things you are trying to run from.

It’s also a reminder that we all wish sometimes that we could change the way people see us. Once someone puts a label on you in their head, it’s there and it’s really hard to change. Deanna didn’t want her dad to see her as that girl in the backseat of an older guy’s car. But that’s what he saw when he looked at her. Can you ever change something like that? I think this book gives hope that you can, but even if you don’t, you still have to move on anyway.

It’s been 10 years since I read this book and it’s stark and honest as ever. I wish I had this book as a teen— it would’ve changed my life. Even as a 20-something and now a 30-something, it still had a pretty big impact.

I would love to be the girl on the waves, paddling away from all the bullshit.

Bonus: Sara Zarr narrates the audio & it’s perfection. ( )
  Michelle_PPDB | Mar 18, 2023 |
This was a very good book. Written from a now 16-year old girl's perspective, it sounded and felt real. She had been caught by her dad with her 17 year-old "boyfriend" in the back seat of a car in the middle of consensual relations. She was only 13 at the time. This story is about how she dealt with the aftermath of that incident for next three years.

Definitely a teen book, not a j-ya, because of situation and language. ( )
  BarbF410 | May 22, 2022 |

*EDIT 2/5/13: If you want a similar read, check out Uses for Boys."

Story of a Girl is the compelling and gripping debut novel by Sara Zarr. It is young adult fiction with heart, compassion, and insight.

When Deanna Lambert gets caught having sex in the backseat of a car at age 13 by her Dad, her life is ruined. It is a mistake she has to relived every day of her life for the past 3-years. In her small town, Deanna is known as the school slut--a reputation she can't shake. Even her father perceive her as such. Yet, during the summer before her junior of high school, Deanna makes a brave decision to remake herself. But the dilemma is this: does it matter if she reamkes herself when everyone continues to see just the old her?

I won't give away the ending, but this emotional roller coaster of book will not leave you disappointed. It is the best Young Adult novel I've read since Luna. ( )
  RakishaBPL | Sep 24, 2021 |
Great book for young readers. ( )
  kelsey.5821 | Jan 6, 2021 |
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for everyone who is my family
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They made us clean out our lockers on the last day of sophomore year.
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It came down to the smaller things, really, that a person could do to say I'm sorry, to say it's okay, to say I forgive you. The tiniest declarations that built, one on top of the other, until there was something solid beneath your feet. And then...and then. Who knew?
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In the three years since her father caught her in the back seat of a car with an older boy, sixteen-year-old Deanna's life at home and school has been a nightmare, but while dreaming of escaping with her brother and his family, she discovers the power of forgiveness.

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