Monday, February 21, 2011

This Girl is Different by JJ Johnson

This Girl Is Different by JJ Johnson
Release Date: April 1, 2011
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers

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 was a very interesting book in that it was different than most things I read.  Evie was a character in more ways than one.  She is one of those people that really doesn't care what others think of her, and she thinks of herself as "This girl is different."  Seeing what her upbringing was like with an eccentric but awesomely sweet and funny mother was so interesting. 

I loved the fact that Evie was so smart and self-assured.  This is unusual in a character of this age.  Not that teens can't be intelligent...but Evie is a step beyond mere intelligence.  Her main focus is to cultivate change in places where she sees a need.  This is noble, but can backfire, which it does for Evie.  Witnessing the places where her good intentions go had me both cheering her on, but also wincing for her as things didn't always work out as expected.

Her relationship with Rajas was sweet, and her growing closeness to him had the flavor of that electrifying first love.  It was also refreshing though to watch a teen girl stand up for herself in a relationship and demand respect as she does with Rajas.

What she does to set things right takes amazing courage.  This only makes you like her more.  This was a smart, interesting, and entertaining debut from JJ Johnson.  Hopefully we'll be seeing a lot more from this author in future.

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