blo Teens Read and Write: YA Book Review & Giveaway: GIRL WONDER by Alexa Martin

Saturday, October 1, 2011

YA Book Review & Giveaway: GIRL WONDER by Alexa Martin

Alexa Martin
pub: May 2011
Genre: YA Contemporary Coming of Age
As if transferring senior year weren't hard enough, Charlotte Locke has been bumped to lower level classes at her new school. With no friends, a terrible math SAT score, and looming college application deadlines, the future is starting to seem like an oncoming train for which she has no ticket.
Then Amanda enters her orbit like a hot-pink meteor, offering Charlotte a ticket to something else: popularity. Amanda is fearless, beautiful, brilliant, and rich. As her new side kick, Charlotte is brought into the elite clique of the debate team—and closer to Neal, Amanda's equally brilliant friend and the most perfect boy Charlotte has ever seen.
But just when senior year is looking up, Charlotte’s life starts to crumble. The more things heat up between Charlotte and Neal, the more Neal wants to hide their relationship. Is he ashamed? Meanwhile, Amanda is starting to act strangely competitive, and she's keeping a secret Charlotte doesn't want to know.
Talented newcomer Alexa Martin delivers a poignant story of first love, jealousy and friendship, where the ups and downs of senior year have never been so complicated. What else can Charlotte do but throw her hands up and ride?
Reading GIRL WONDER was like watching a train wreck. I wanted to look away as Charlotte drove herself full-tilt into disaster.  

Crap starts piling up and Charlotte doesn't handle it well. Her parents, who are part of the problem, are too self-absorbed to notice, let alone help. Left on her own, sad, desperate, and trying to fit in, Charlotte makes one bonehead move after another

On a certain level, I couldn't relate to Charlotte because I've never had to deal with her kinds of problems - Hallelujah! - but that's not to say I couldn't understand how she kept digging herself deeper into a very dangerous hole. I think Charlotte's honest voice will resonate with a lot of teens. Alone, lost and drowning in high school's shark-infested waters.  

Amanda - the pink-haired girl wonder - just screams "Bad News!" but Charlotte gravitates to her light, bright as a nuclear blast - and just as beneficial. Then there's Charlotte's "secret" boyfriend, Neal, the perfect prince and hottest catch at school...just ask him.

Charlotte doesn't see all the red flags. Which is irritating. Most of the time I wanted to slap her silly. But she's written in  such a real way that I believed she could make every stupid choice she made. 

GIRL WONDER jumps head first into serious issues. The peer-pressure, parental pressure, lies, self-loathing, betrayals, drugs, alcohol, and sex swirl into a toxic mess. I was wondering if Charlotte would survive or spiral to a depressing end. 

This well-written story has oodles of messages about what NOT to do, and through her struggles, Charlotte grows and matures. She understands herself better, makes smarter choices, and finds a new level of strength. GIRL WONDER is a good choice for contemporary fans interested in a darker, realistic coming-of-age. 

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Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Wait... what not to do? Too late... ;)

Na, this sounds interesting. I love the way you said you just wanted to slap her silly. LOL Makes me want to read it to see exactly what it was!

YaY! for giveaway!

Book Sake said...

Sounds like it could be a good discussion book for parents to read with kids and discuss choices made in the book.

LoriStrongin said...

Sounds like an interesting read. Though I worry a bit about the MC making bad decision after bad decision--it gets frustrating to me after a while if the MC doesn't grow as a character throughout the book. So, I think this one's a maybe for me for now.

Thanks for the review!


YA Book Queen said...

I have a feeling Charlotte would drive me crazy ;)

Great honest review, Alyssa!

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

These stories always make me nervous because the seems to veer off into 'preachy' territory. But part of being a human is making those silly decisions that need to be made in order to avoid them in the future.

Thanks for the giveaway.

Jenny said...

I can tell this will be a difficult read for me because I get so frustrated when characters make miserable decisions and there's just nothing I can do to make it stop! Good to know Charlotte matures as she goes though, that's incentive for me to keep reading:)

A Canadian Girl said...

Hey, I actually managed to read this one before you :P

Same here. I couldn't exactly relate with Charlotte or like her because I hate when characters do dumb things, but sometimes it's hard to not succumb to things like drinking or having sex when you want to desperately fit in. I really liked that Martin made her examine her choices at the end and learn from them.


I saw this cover a long time ago and then it disappeared. So that's what the story is about. I'm not one to shy away from hard stories. Thanks for the give away.

Your review was great! I can remember my senior year of high school and I have to say I was completely ignorant of all the bad things going on. I had a best friend that shielded me from everything. I suppose I was very lucky.


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