Deanna’s lived under a dark cloud ever since her dad caught her having sex when she was just 13, and her dreams of getting out just might expire under the weight of his disapproval.
I’m a latecomer getting to Sara Zarr’s National Book Award Finalist novel Story of a Girl, though it’s been on my radar for quite some time. I’m so glad I finally carved out some time to read it. I’ve often criticized young adult literature for piling on the woe, so it’s refreshing to read a book by a writer who recognizes that the simplest stories are often the best.
Zarr doesn’t make a big deal out of Deanna’s transgressions. Rather, she focuses the conflict of the story around Deanna’s family, which includes her older brother, his girlfriend, and their baby daughter. Deanna dreams of saving up enough money so that they can all move out, away from their clueless mom and disapproving dad, but she’s coming to realize that at some point she’ll have to stand on her own.
I only have superlatives for this book. It’s an outstanding entry into the crowded YA genre, and well worth all of the accolades it has received.