Title: Girl Wonder
Author: Alexa Martin
Release Date: May 2011
Published By: Hyperion Books
Pages: 304 pages
Goodreads Rating: 3.79 stars
Review: Because of her math learning disability, Charlotte is bumped down from the Gifted and Talented program at her new high school senior year, and things seem like they'll only get worse. But that's until she meets fearless, beautiful, brilliant Amanda: Girl Wonder. Charlotte's her new side kick, and that brings her closer to Neal in the elite debate team clique. Yet just as everything appears to be coming together, it all starts falling apart.
I didn't have particularly high expectations for GIRL WONDER, but even if it had, it still would have blown me away. I devoured this entire book in just two sittings, finding myself completely swept up in it. Even as I could see the bad things coming ahead, I was there with Charlotte when she became intoxicated with her new popularity, with her new closeness to Amanda and Neal. She broke out of her goody-good mold and found herself entranced with an entirely new world.
This was such an honest, gritty read, delving straight into the ups and downs of the final year of high school without holding anything back. Charlotte experienced first love and first heartbreak, but the pain wasn't anything new to her, what with her dysfunctional family dynamic. As much sympathy as I felt for her, I did sometimes wish that she wasn't so oblivious and, on occasion, shallow, but she grew so much as a character by the end that I was able to overlook that.
GIRL WONDER was real, sad, and beautiful all at once. It's the story of a girl who begins to learn who she is, who she was, and who she wants to be, and manages to deal with normally-tired themes like popularity and peer pressure without being annoyingly cliché or redundant. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a moving read.