Title: Story of a Girl
Author: Sara Zarr
Genre: YA contemporary
Length: 192 pages, 43k words
Read: March 4, 2012
Summary: Great little character study
Nominally, this is an issue novel, about a 15 year-old girl dealing with the fallout of having slept with a guy when she was thirteen. But really it’s just a well written and well characterized slice of teen life story — reminiscent even of something like Judy Blume’s Tiger Eyes.
The prose is first rate. Told in first person past, the narrator’s voice is pitch perfect. Funny, poignant, honest, all without being forced. And the characters are all great. The don’t feel like they exist to serve the plot. They exist as people exist. This was just a great little read — a kind of quick escape into someone else’s head. It felt effortless, but I know it wasn’t. The basic three act structure is there. Girl has a problem — and not really the external one she thinks she has — but instead a need for internal change. She messes up, comes to crisis, and grows.
A simple formula. But everything is in the execution.