THIS GIRL IS DIFFERENT by J.J. Johnson
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers
Released: 1st April 2011
Review Format: Kindle e-book
Source: Netgalley and Peachtree Publishers with thanks!
Evie is different. Not just her upbringing-though that's certainly been unusual-but also her mindset. She's smart, independent, confident, opinionated, and ready to take on a new challenge: The Institution of School.
It doesn't take this homeschooled kid long to discover that high school is a whole new world, and not in the way she expected. It's also a social minefield, and Evie finds herself confronting new problems at every turn, failing to follow or even understand the rules, and proposing solutions that aren't welcome or accepted.
Not one to sit idly by, Evie sets out to make changes. Big changes. The movement she starts takes off, but before she realizes what's happening, her plan spirals out of control, forcing her to come to terms with a world she is only just beginning to comprehend.
JJ Johnson's powerful debut novel will enthrall readers as it challenges assumptions about friendship, rules, boundaries, and power.
Synopsis from Goodreads.
This Girl is Different started off quite slow and it wasn’t until I was about a quarter of the way in that things started to pick up.
Evie, the main character had always been homeschooled, but really wanted to find out what high school was like so she enrolled for the senior year. I have to admit that I never really got in tune with Evie. I understood that she thought of herself as ‘different’ and her mother had brought her up to speak up when things weren’t right and she only wanted to change things for the better, but to me she seemed to go about it all wrong and took things far too far. It was no wonder she was always in detention!
Although I didn’t meld well with Evie, I really liked her boyfriend Rajas. He was kind, sweet and very patient with Evie and her manic ways and it was definitely insta-love between them. I know some readers hate insta-love, but that didn’t bother me too much as I rather like Rajas myself! I also loved the idea of the Dome Home – the house that Evie and her mother Martha had built themselves and lived in.
The plot was good and I enjoyed all the side stories, especially that of Evie’s best friend Jacinda. Until that is, she became one of the mean girls. And not only were there mean girls in this book, but there were also mean teachers!
There were some really cute and funny bits in This Girl is Different and I found myself giggling quite often, but I also found the book slightly overbearing in places which dulled my enjoyment a little. I think if I’d gelled more with the main character then I would have enjoyed the book much more. As it was, I found it just an ok read.
My rating: 3 stars