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Story of a Girlby Sara Zarr
Synopses & Reviews
When she is caught in the backseat of a car with her older brother's best friend &mdash Deanna Lambert's teenage life is changed forever. Struggling to overcome the lasting repercussions and the stifling role of school slut, she longs to escape a life defined by her past. With subtle grace, complicated wisdom and striking emotion, The Story of a Girl reminds us of our human capacity for resilience, epiphany and redemption.
"Zarr's involving yet somewhat anti-climactic debut opens with a bang as Deanna Lambert recalls the moment that caused everything in her life to change: "I was thirteen when my dad caught me with Tommy Webber in the back of Tommy's Buick." Following this incident with the then 17-year-old boy, Deanna is shunned by her father and labeled "the school slut" by her peers. In her small town, the tag sticks, and continues to define Deanna's life for the next three years. Now 16, she lands a summer job only to discover that Tommy works at the same place. But seeing him sparks flashbacks, and through them Zarr give readers insight into how Deanna was drawn to Tommy, and the complicated feelings the teen experienced ("I don't mean anything corny like I fell in love.... It was more a feeling like when I'd get picked first for volleyball"). The author credibly explores Deanna's confusion about how good it feels to be with Tommy and her thoughts that she should be feeling something else. The narrative is less credible when she erupts at her best (girl)friend, Lee — paving the way for Deanna to kiss her longtime best friend, Jason (who is also Lee's boyfriend) — and also when Deanna confronts Tommy after a makeout session. Although the loose ends are tied up at the end, readers may find Deanna's character somewhat contradictory. But Zarr convincingly creates a teen trapped by small-minded people in a small town." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information)
"[Story of a Girl] is a heartbreaking look at how a teenager can be defined by one mistake, and how it shapes her sense of self-worth. This is realistic fiction at its best." School Library Journal
"This involving, touching first novel will resonate with those who have made mistakes and those who have not." Kirkus Reviews
"This is a thoughtful, well-executed debut from an author who understands how to write for teens." Booklist
When you cant trust anyone, how can you ever feel safe?
In seventh grade, Maggie Camden was the class outcast. Every day, the other girls tripped her, pinched her, trapped her in the bathroom, told her she would be better off dead. Four years have passed since then, and Maggies tormentors seem to have moved on. The ringleader of them all, Raleigh Barringer, even moved out of town. But Maggie has never stopped watching for attacks, and every laugh still sounds like its at her expense. The only time Maggie feels at peace is when shes hiking up in the mountains with her best friend, Nick. Lately, though, theres a new sort of tension between the two of them—a tension both dangerous and delicious. But how can Maggie expect anything more out of Nick when all shes ever been told is that shes ugly, shes pathetic, shes unworthy of love? And how can she ever feel safe, now that Raleigh Barringer is suddenly—terrifyingly—back in town?
A gritty, atmospheric coming of age tale set in 1980s New York City
Seventeen-year-old Cat is living every teenager’s dream—she has her own apartment on the Lower East Side and at night she’s club kid royalty, guarding the velvet rope at some of the hottest clubs in the city. The night with its crazy, frenetic, high-inducing energy—the pulsing beat of the music, the radiant, joyful people and those seductive white lines that can ease all pain—is when Cat truly lives. But her daytime, when real life occurs, is more nightmare than dream.
Having spent years suffering her mother’s emotional and physical abuse, and abandoned by her father, Cat is terrified and alone—unable to connect to anyone or anything. But when someone comes along who makes her want to truly live, she’ll need to summon the courage to confront her demons and take control of a life already spinning dangerously out of control.
Both poignant and raw, White Lines is a gripping tale and the reader won’t want to look away.
About the Author
Sara Zarr was raised in San Francisco, went to high school in Pacifica, and now lives with her husband in Salt Lake City, Utah. Story of a Girl is her first novel.
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