Story Of A Girl
In a nearby bookstore, where you can find like-new hardbacks for a couple dollars, they have bins under the giant letters F-R-E-E-E. All the books in those bins are free. Pick and choose what you might enjoy reading. A couple weeks ago, I did just that and found an advance reading copy for Sara Zarr's Story Of A Girl.
Now I picked the copy up even though I had never heard of the title or Sara Zarr. Only later, after I started reading the book, would I discover this was a National Book Award Finalist. While this is a suppose to be a Young Adult novel - the main character having finished her sophomore year in high school - I was easily absorbed by the writing.
This story of a high school student trying to live down her past (an incident that happened when she was 13) and sort herself out with friends and a dysfunctional family is bolstered by Zarr's writing style. It is simple, narrative friendly, and keeps the plot moving. The Young Adult genre has been flooded with lousy writers in recent years but this book is an example of true story-telling.
I think young adult stories often appeal to older audiences because truth is, we don't outgrow our angst. As you grow older, it takes a different shape but still lurks. Zarr's writing style reinforces that notion.
If there is one knock I have on the story - the plot was well constructed - it is that the main character cries too often in the last half of the book. Still, that may be a reflection of Zarr's teenage years. I can't say for certain.
Either way, for a find in the freebie bin, I scored huge with this book. I highly recommend this novel. Just under 200 pages makes it a simple, quick, easy read. 5 of 5 on the rating scale.