It's only during this year that I discovered Sara Zarr. I love her beautiful style of writing, her stories that are complicated and difficult. I love the emotions and her characters and how very authentic everything feels. I'm really in awe of Sara Zarr and I will always, always look forward to any book that she writes.
Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr is one of personal strength and of redemption and forgiveness. It's about the true meaning of family and of moving forward and growing up and I truly loved it. It's such a beautiful story.
Deanna was just 13 when her father caught her having sex with her brother's best friend, Tommy Weber. From then on, everything changed. Deanna's father could no longer look her in the eyes, stories of what had happened circulated around school and as she lives in such a small town, she has forever been branded as a slut.
I thought Sara Zarr really painted this small town America well, with all the gossip and how everyone knows everything about you and holds all of your mistakes and wrongdoings against you permanently and forever. But Deanna hopes to change things, by moving out of her father's house where disapproval and dysfunction abound. Not only is her father sorely disappointed by Deanna's sexual activity, but also that of Deanna's older brother Darren who with his girlfriend, Stacy, are teenage parents. Deanna hopes that by getting a job, she will be able to save up enough money for her and Darren and Stacy and the baby to find a place together to live as a happy family.
But the only job she can find is at the pizza joint, where Tommy Weber works. Facing Tommy means opening up all the wounds of her tarnished reputation and how she's had to face the name-calling and the way in which people have treated her over the past few years. In facing her past demons and seeing the flaws and cracks in herself and those around her, Deanna is able to forgive and move forward and continue to believe and hope for better.
Really, I don't have the right words to adequately describe how much I loved this book. I think every one of us have made some bad mistakes growing up and it really tugged at my heartstrings all the way through this book reading of how much Deanna has suffered and been punished for hers.