Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com
Rhombus: a parallelogram with four equal sides and sometimes one with no right angles. -Merriam-Webster online dictionary
On page one of this story, the reader meets the narrator, Rhonda Lee. Rhonda is a senior at Piedmont and tutors after school at West Columbia Community Center. Upon entering Piedmont, she was popular, but things have changed since she was a freshman. Enter Sarah Gamble - a junior, a cheerleader, popular, and forced by her mom, Justice Gamble, to find a tutor to help her with math.
What starts out as Rhonda's animosity towards Sarah and all of the kids like her at their school soon turns to a mutual understanding between the two girls. After their second tutoring session, Rhonda has deduced that Sarah is pregnant. With a simple "How far along are you?" by Rhonda, the friendship begins.
As Sarah struggles to come to terms with her pregnancy, and her ultimate decision, flashbacks by Rhonda fill the reader in on her history and previous pregnancy. Rhonda has shut herself off from anything but her studies and her goals to get into Georgia Tech on a scholarship. Her friendship and support to Sarah help her realize that past mistakes do not have to limit your future happiness. And so evolves the story, and the eventual outcomes of the choices each girl has to make, ultimately on their own.
Wow, what a great story! From the start, I didn't want to put the book down. And if it weren't for having to get up for work the next morning, I would easily have read the entire book in one sitting. As it was, I had to wait until the following day to complete it.
The most surprising thing is that the author of the book is a male. The story is told in the first person by a female. Mr. Johnson tells the story simply, without preaching, nor without choosing sides between pregnancy and abortion. He makes you think about the choices each girl has had to make with their lives, and how they will have to live with those decisions. Mr. Johnson is able to do that convincingly, even as a male. Reading the questions to the author at the end of the book, it was interesting to find out that the original concept of the story was meant to be written as an adult book, told from Rhonda's father's viewpoint. He has captured the struggles of teen girls perfectly, and the story is quite believable.
A similar story is ANGEL'S CHOICE by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, but Mr. Johnson's book has even more depth and emotion. Because of his uncanny ability to portray teen girls without coming across as knowing the right answers, I bestow a Gold Star Award on this book.