11 March 2011
Review: This Girl is Different, by JJ Johnson
*Received ARC through NetGalley. This book will be released on April 1, 2011* From Goodreads: 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. I liked the premise of this book, a girl who stands up for what she really believes in, even when no one would stand with her. Sadly, the premise didn't really come through for me. It felt rushed and too neat, if that makes sense. And really, Evie wasn't all that different. Sure, she took on The Establishment, but in some ways, it was cliche. Hippie child going against the norm? Felt too stereotyped to be realistic to me. And the whole thing with Evie and Rajas bugged me. She's supposed to be different. But she's just the same as the hormonally-crazed people she condemns. She's just as eager to get it on as any of them. I don't know. It just didn't gel for me. Please don't get me wrong. I didn't hate this book. I didn't even dislike it. I just didn't really feel it. I DID like that Evie took responsibility for her actions and faced down her accusers. The whole school, mind you, which I don't know that I buy, but it was still kind of cool. I liked that Rajas manned up and apologized publicly. I liked that he acknowledged their relationship. And for some reason, I *really* liked Dr. Folger, even though I think his character was completely unrealistic. Or, if he's realistic, then he's the coolest principal EVER. I just really liked him. I didn't particularly like this book, but I definitely didn't hate it and there will be people out there who really 'get' it. It'll definitely resonate with some. I'm giving it a 'Meh' rating.