Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This Girl Is Different Review

Author: JJ Johnson
Release Date: April 1, 2011
Pages: 320 (e-galley)
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers
Most Appropriate For Ages: 12+
Where I Got It: From netgalley to review
Challenge: Debut Author 2011

This girl is different... That's what Evie has always told herself and it's true. Home-schooled by her counter culture mom, she's decided to see what high school is like for the first time for her senior year. And what a year it is.

As it turns out, it's not just Evie who's Different. Lots of people are. Many of her assumptions about others are turned on their heads as she makes friends with kids her own age for the first time, discovers what's good and what's bad about high school, and learns lessons about power and its abuse both by the administration and by Evie herself.
As a home-schooler, when I hear the word "home-schooled" in a book synopsis, it's kinda an automatic read for me. I want to see how the author portrays home-schoolers, plus I know I'll be able to relate to the character even if--like in This Girl Is Different--the character decides to go to school. And while I liked how JJ Johnson showed home-schooling and liked the main character a lot, I still have mixed feelings about This Girl Is Different.

On one hand, I liked the idea for the story a lot. On the other hand, it dragged too much for me.

On one hand, I liked most of the characters and how smart they were (especially Evie!). On the other hand, their personalities are kind of inconsistent and their reactions to things could be totally random and it made them seem less real to me.

So, yeah, you can see why I'm so conflicted about this novel.

There were parts of it that I thought were great, such as Evie's political activism in her local high school and how awesome her mother and principal were. This book talks a lot about power and responsibility and how students should be treated in school, which was something else I loved about the book.

But then there was some other stuff that I didn't like too much about it. Like Evie and Rajas' relationship--how quickly it developed, how different Evie could be around him, and his weird floppiness. They just didn't work for me. And while I appreciated Jacinda not being the catty-cheerleader stereotype, she just ended up being a strange character for me. I won't say why, but I ended up getting sick of her three-fourths through the book. Rajas too. This goes back to the thing I said about character's personalities being inconsistent. I swear they're bipolar or something cause, MAN could those two throw a hissy fit, which didn't seem like it would work well with their personalities. Perhaps this was intentional, but either way it bugged me.

*sigh* End rant. But anyways.

This Girl Is Different was an enjoyable read, though I didn't love it as much as I'd hoped to or as much as I'm sure some people will.

Book Report:
Plot: Prone to dragging, but interesting enough as a whole.
Characters: I liked Evie, but the side characters? Ummm...yeah, I don't even know.
Writing: Pretty good. I loved being inside Evie's head.
Ending: Very satisfying.
Kid friendly? Pretty. There's some make-out scenes, talk of sex, and very mild swearing.


  1. Wow, it's a lot different from what I thought it would be. I'm still curious, but I'm definitely hoping it doesn't drag for me, but usually when someone says it drags it's because it does. The character thing is unfortunate. :/

  2. I'm with you on this novel. I liked it, but I wasn't enamoured with it. It also took me a while to even like it at all.
    Great review.


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