Saturday, July 30, 2011

Book Review on This Girl is Different by JJ Johnson

Description and photo from
Evie is different. Not just her upbringing-though that's certainly been unusual-but also her mindset. She's smart, independent, confident, opinionated, and ready to take on a new challenge: The Institution of School.
It doesn't take this homeschooled kid long to discover that high school is a whole new world, and not in the way she expected. It's also a social minefield, and Evie finds herself confronting new problems at every turn, failing to follow or even understand the rules, and proposing solutions that aren't welcome or accepted.
Not one to sit idly by, Evie sets out to make changes. Big changes. The movement she starts takes off, but before she realizes what's happening, her plan spirals out of control, forcing her to come to terms with a world she is only just beginning to comprehend.
JJ Johnson's powerful debut novel will enthrall readers as it challenges assumptions about friendship, rules, boundaries, and power

I really agree with this last statement above about this book Challenging Assumptions, it sure challenged a lot of mine! 
** spoiler alert ** Firstly I want to say that I think the writing was fantastic. I just did not like the situations and plot of this story at all. There was a lot of bullying in this book. Something I was caught of guard and unexpected because it does not mention that anywhere in the summary.
The main character in the beginning of the book seems to be very smart, has common sense and intellectually above most in her grade, but that girl deteriorates very fast as the story progresses.
The girls start an online blog site in which they actually think that complaining about the school, it's teachers and students may actually result in a better running school. Staff as well as students working together instead of against each other. But like everything else in life the blog blows up out of control and becomes a place where both students and teachers take advantage of bullying each other. Some of the bullying made me so upset, it was just so cruel. I actually argued aloud with the book, which never really changes the ending, how ever much you wish it could. I kept thinking that maybe the results of all this story upsetting me would be a positive ending, when really the ending seemed like it was not worth the telling of this story. I really wanted a more uplifting reason for why this all had to happen.
I understand as a fictional story that things are written in more extreme measures to fully impact the reader, which believe me this does. But the ending just did not seem like the best result to a story like this.
I think one of the main reasons that I did not give this story 3 stars was the failure of adults, teachers and especially the main character, who was built up to be this smart, intelligent girl. They all failed when it came to having to put a stop to an ever growing situation. But the teachers, adults and staff to all have some part in helping this situation grow was just so maddening to me.
I am more than happy to read other works by this author, but this is a very sensitive subject matter for me to read about and if I had known what the book contained from the summary blurbs, the caution would have made me think twice about reading it.

I was very torn between posting this review to my blog and had to shorten it by 2 pages. It really brought out some unexpected, strong feelings from me. And I thought that it may not be fair to my subscribers to only post books that I really like. I feel that if you really want to get to know me and appreciate the books that I do recommend , you may want to know the books that I wouldn't as well.