Author: J. J. Johnson
Release Date: April 2011
Published By: Peachtree Publishers
Pages: 320 pages
Goodreads Rating: 3.61 stars
Review: This girl is different. That's always been Evie's mantra, and it's never been more true than when she entered public high school for the first time senior year. She had spent the first seventeen years of life homeschooled by her counter-culture mother, lives in an environmental dome they built themselves, and speaks out loudly against injustice. It's this last one that starts to get her in trouble at public school, and as Evie fights harder and harder for what she believes, she begins to see that she herself may be abusing power.
This book is different, and in an absolutely good way. One of its strongest aspects were the characters, from Evie, to Raj, to Jacinda. Evie was unique and smart, and had a strong voice, both from a writing standpoint and in the actual story. She wasn't afraid to be bold and outspoken even when she knew it was hurting her chances of getting into the college she wanted, and though she was initially blinded by what she perceived to be her justified social activism, I appreciated being able to see her grow as a character. The author managed to make her learn about her own abuse without coming across as overly preachy.
The minor characters were excellent at defying clichés and stereotypes. Raj initially seemed to be an attractive, kind, and thoughtful guy, perfect for Evie, but soon proved himself to be a selfish jerk. It was an empowering moment for Evie to realize this, and I was cheering her along the way. Jacinda seemed like a "typical" ditzy cheerleader in the beginning, but then showed her true colors as fierce, loyal, and strong. The rest of the cast was well fleshed-out with no one being slanted as a true villain, but rather just showing everyone as flawed human beings.
THIS GIRL IS DIFFERENT is definitely up there with my favorite reads of 2011. Though the little quirks of this book were fascinating, the bare bones of the plot weren't that special, but it still managed to keep me utterly engrossed in the story. This has a rich cast of characters, and both major and minor characters are fully developed. True to its name, this different book starkly stands out, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an amazing read.
FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for review. This is no way affected my review, which is 100% honest.