This Girl is Different by JJ Johnson

This Girl is Different by JJ Johnson

Published: April 1st, 2011
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers
Rating: YA 14+
Source: Sent from Author via NetGalley
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.

**This Review is based on an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy). The final text may be different!**

This is such a difficult book to review! I'm sitting here and thinking, because this is one of those books. The ones with profound meaning to them, which are really powerful and are so different (like the title!) and unique from books found today. It really looks at the discrimination and stereotypes of high schools today. We can see how the "norm" differentiates from other people who are different. We can see the problems with bullying, racism and judgement of people. I really do think that this book is suited for adults as well with all the philosophy and quotes and thoughts going through our main character, Evie's head.

Evie's character is truly one I've never seen before. Definitely "different" but a good different! She's headstrong, strongly opinionated, free minded and doesn't care about who's who and what's right and what's social incorrect. She does what she wants and stands up for herself. I seriously wish I could be like her. She's just such a strong character with assertiveness that makes me jealous. Her ideas and theories are so insightful (I must admit, it was pretty educating to read this book!) that they just kinda go click click click in your head, making connections, understanding what she's trying to get across and of course, the powerful message she's trying to make across to the administration and students.
However, things don't go as planned. As Evie suddenly becomes regarded as a freak, people start to treat her differently. Teachers start to treat her differently. Her best friend and boyfriend suddenly act kinda different around her as well! I think this is really important for High School learning, as it touches the subject of bullying and cliques. 

Speaking of best friend and boyfriend, I really love Raj and Jacinda's characters. They're just so different from "typical" best friends put into books. First off, they're Indian! (respect to my fellow Indians :P). I really love how Evie describes them when she first sees them. I remember her saying that Raj looked like "Kumar from Harold and Kumar" and Jacinda was beautiful like Audrey Hepburn. It's just those allusions which make it more interesting to understand the characters and Evie's surroundings, and even make a connection!

I LOOVVEE Evie's mom, Martha! She's amazingly understanding of Evie's choices (although the schooling thing she can do without), she allows Evie to have her freedom and when she asks for help, Martha always has some sort of solution. Her reference to "the man" is hilarious, and every little phrase really adds up to her character. Love the Geo-dome as well. Almost makes me want to move into one!

The tone of the book drastically changes at one point. It becomes cold and the atmosphere really does change. Everyone becomes cold and unfriendly, and Evie really starts to feel the effect and "downfall" of loneliness and being shunned by her "best friend" and her boyfriend. It's really quite sad at this part and I felt really down when reading this :(. But I found as the book came to the end, it was a satisfying conclusion, with hope for the future and people standing up for what's right. Justice shone through at the end.

Overall, I would say that if you wanted something different and unique from what other books are talking about these days, something a little more "realistic" than realistic fiction, go ahead and pick this up– you will not be disappointed with the result.

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1 comment:

  1. Hey wow, this book has been on my to-read list forever but I don't know why but I never really wanted to pick it up. But if it'll be anything like Speak, I might give it a shot (I saw the movie though not the book). Anyways, wondeful review and I'd love it if you check it out mine:


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