By Sara Zarr
From Inside Cover:
I was thirteen when my dad caught me with Tommy Webber in the back of Tommy's Buick, parked next to the old Chart House down in Montara at eleven o' clock on a Tuesday night. Tommy was seventeen and the supposed friend of my brother, Darren.
I didn't love him.
I'm not sure I even liked him.
In a moment, Deanna Lambert's teenage life is changed forever. Struggling to overcome the lasting repercussions and the stifling role of "school slut," Deanna longs to escape a life defined by her past. With subtle grace, complicated wisdom, and striking emotion, Story of a Girl reminds us of our human capacity for resilience, epiphany, and redemption.
This is truly one of the most heart wrenching books I have read in a long time.
The story takes place almost three years after Deanna's "mistake." We are dropped into her very messy life. Her dad still doesn't look her in the eye, her big brother is trying to raise a baby with his girl friend in the basement of their house, and her mom seems to live in her own little world.
At school she has been branded a slut by her classmates and has endured three years of name calling, rumors and cruelty.
Her home life is miserable. Her parents don't communicate with each other let alone their children. Everyone sort of just drifts through their day and around each other.
Deanna lands a summer job intent on saving her money to help her brother and his family move into an apartment. Her plan is to go with them so they can all be the family she fantasizing about. Unfortunately on her first day she discovers that she will be working the entire summer with Tommy.
At times Deanna is a character that is hard to love. At times I felt so frustrated with her choices and that she just didn't seem to care where the consquences were going to take her. Other times I just wanted to hold her and protect her from a cold cruel world. Deanna is a complicated character that is written so beautifully. It's hard not to connect with her.
This was Sara Zarr's debut novel and I can't wait to get my hands on other books that she has written.
I would recommend this book for 14 and up. There are sexual situations and strong language.
I borrowed this book through Interlibrary Loan at my public library.