9 member(s) found this review helpful.
This book's central question seems to be - can you change your life even though you have made mistakes in the past. As adults we know we can though it can be difficult. As a teenager, Deanna Lambert is struggling with this question. After being caught in an indescetion as a 13-year-old with her brother's best friend by her father, Deanna has had to live with being "that" girl. She's now in high school and even though she is not like "that" anymore, she still lives with it daily. As summer comes she starts to explore more of who she is and how what she has done affects everyone. There is her family - her brother who is her best friend, his girlfriend and their baby daughter. She longs to be a family with them. There is her mother who tries hard to keep the peace in the family but works so much she's hardly there and there is her father who has not really looked at Deanna since that fateful night. Deanna also has two good friends. As the summer progresses Deanna learns a lot of things - about her family, her friends and especially herself. It's a wonderful and quick story to read and I highly recommend it to all - from teenagers to adults.
1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Reviewed by Amber Gibson for TeensReadToo.com
Have you ever done something that you wish you could take back? Something that changed your life forever?
We've all been there. We've all done something that we regret. Just like all of us, Deanna was once caught doing something that she wasn't proud of. Unfortunately for her, it almost ruined her teen years. Just one dumb relationship, sprinkled with naivetÃ© and trust, and suddenly Deanna finds herself with the vulgar label of the school slut. It wasn't what she'd asked for; she'd only ever been with one guy. But the stories just won't stop. Like a horrible rerun of a hated sitcom, it seems like everywhere she turns, Deanna is confronted with what she did one night in a boy's car--and the fact that her father caught her doing it.
Deanna's story is touching, and the worst example of how one event can seem to define a person's life. But like the fighter she is, Deanna tries to move on and just live her life as normally as possible, with her two best friends and her family. But her family life isn't exactly picturesque. Her older brother, his wife Stacy, and their baby daughter are living in the basement. Her father is always arguing with Stacy, and Deanna thinks that he hates Stacy almost as much as he hates her since that fateful night when Deanna's life fell apart. Her mother loves her and tries so hard to give Deanna the care that she needs, but somehow it doesn't quite make up for the fact that their family is just barely scraping by. On top of all that, Deanna doesn't know if she'll ever make it out of Pacifica, a little dump of a town in the otherwise glamorous state of California.
After sophomore year is over, Deanna is stuck at home all summer. To get out of the house and keep her busy, she gets her first job at a little local pizza parlor. There, she discovers that the same boy who came so close ruining her life three years earlier is now her co-worker. While she struggles to understand her feelings towards him, she is also struggling at home to live with the strange family arrangement and someday find a way out.
Over the course of the summer, Deanna learns a lot about herself, her friends, and her family. By the time she returns to high school as a junior, she has a much better understanding of who she is, and that nobody else can define her. Sara Zarr did a wonderful job of creating Deanna, such a vulnerable character whose thoughts and actions are so believable. Never again will I judge somebody from a story I once heard about them, after seeing Deanna's account of just how much that can hurt.