STORY OF A GIRL deals with certain actions and their consequences–much more realistically than some similar books I’ve read recently. Not that the others weren’t good, but in those, the actions are a part of the book, and it’s all resolved nicely within a few weeks of what happens. By starting her story years after the event that sets off all of this, Sara Zarr makes the resolution much more realistic.

When she was thirteen, Deanna’s father caught her with her seventeen-year-old brother’s friend, Tommy, in the back of his car having sex.

Three years later, Deanna knows she made a mistake. She didn’t love Tommy; she’s not even sure that she liked him. She made a mistake, and she’s more than ready to forget it every happened and moved on.

Problem is, nobody’s willing to let her. Not only at school but in her own home, Deanna has the reputation of slut, despite the fact that she’s only ever been with Tommy, and that was years ago. Even her father still thinks that of her. The only people she trusts are her older brother and his girlfriend who live in the basement with their baby, and her two best friends, Lee and Jason. To everyone else, she’s just a slut.

That is, until she gets a job at the local pizza parlor and meets one more person who believes in Deanna for who she is. While her boss is a great guy, Deanna isn’t sure about this job, one that’s forced her to confront her past much more directly than she’d like: Tommy is a fellow employee there. Yes, that Tommy.

Sara Zarr is an amazing writer who has written a wonderful and painfully realistic novel about the far-reaching consequences of sex. This theme has been one I’ve noticed recently in my reading, and I think Sara Zarr does the best job of realistically telling the story of what could happen, and it’s a lot messier than some of the other stories I’ve read about the consequences of sex. The problems of the characters in these other novels seem to be a lot more clear-cut and easier to resolve than Deanna’s, or they’re at least resolved quickly.

In STORY OF A GIRL, it’s more realistic, and, on top of that, fabulously written. The story flows nicely, and it’s told in the believable voice of Deanna, a very three-dimensional character. The other characters are quite lifelike as well, but Deanna is the best of these. The way these characters all interact has obviously been well-thought out, and the characters stay true to what they’re written as all through the novel, which is quite an accomplishment. Everything is held together marvelously, resulting in a wonderful must-read for all teenagers and adults!

Rating: 10/10