Title: This Girl Is Different
Author: JJ Johnson
Published: Peachtree Press, April 2011
Source: Received via NetGalley
Rating: 3 stars
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
Seventeen year old Evie is about to take a courageous journey. She has been home-schooled her entire life and decides that she wants to experience her senior year in a public high school. Talk about culture-shock. High school is a unique world. The norms of society mean nothing there. Unfortunately for Evie, she learns this the hard way. She's not the type of girl to conform and follow blindly.
Evie received more detentions in her first week of school than I did in my entire high school career. Everything she was given a detention for was something a 'seasoned high school-er' knows not to do (or they do it anyway but are not surprised by the consequences). Things like talking on a cell phone, taking the class snake out of its cage or talking back to a teacher. Evie still needs to learn a lot of common sense and social cues.
I'm probably in the minority here but I'm not a fan of seeing Facebook and iPhones show up in books. I know that this is a young-adult book and *all teenagers have a Facebook account and a cell phone (*all of the teenagers I know have both), but I get enough of this technology in my everyday life. I don't need to read about becoming "Facebook official" or an internet lover. But that is just a personal preference of mine.
What I love about Evie: She's not afraid to stand up for what she believes in or to jump in and defend someone else. I can definitively picture her leading a protest or organizing a rally. She doesn't cave to peer pressure. I love that. Also, when Evie first meets Rajas, the boy she likes, she acts like a typical high school girl and I love it. She wonders if he has a girlfriend, if he thinks about her and what it would be like to kiss him.
I really liked the concept of lightening (and it has nothing to do with weather). When you are 'struck' by lightening there's no way out. You can be struck by falling in love with someone or a nasty rumor going around the school about you.
As a whole I thought the book was okay. I think I would have enjoyed the story more if I read this book when I was still in high school. As much as I love young adult books sometimes reading about high school feels too 'young' for me.