Book Review: This Girl is Different

This Girl is Different
By: JJ Johnson
Published By: Peachtree Publishers
Release Date: April 2011
Buy it on Amazon
Source: Galley provided by publisher via NetGalley

This book truly is about a girl that is different. So many young adult novels these days feature the damsel in distress and mean girl types as their main characters, but very rarely does a character like Evie get a chance to dominate the story. I found this to be a refreshing change. Evie is a strong, intelligent, independent teen who follows what she knows to be right in spite of what others may feel about it.

Evie begins her high school career as being the girl that is different since she has been home-schooled up until her Senior year. She wants to experience high school life while she still has a chance before she chases her dreams to Cornell. Along the way she becomes good friends with Rajas and Jacinda who help her find her niche in the school.

But soon Evie realizes high school is not as glamorous as all the movies make it out to be. The hallways hide dark secrets and the staff isn't always professional. Evie's political activism sparks to life and she leads a campaign to shed light on the troubling situations. I hope that teens who read this book will find inspiration in Evie and have the courage to stand up when issues arise in their own schools.

I was saddened that Evie's public school experience frustrated her. She was confused by some of the rules and felt that many of the teachers did not have the students best interest at heart. As an educator in a public school this helped me to think about the purpose of rules and structure. I want to strive to make sure my students have a positive experience in my class.

I enjoyed JJ Johnson's writing style and how she breathed life into her characters. I was not aware of her work before receiving this galley, but I am inspired to see what she will come up with next. I truly appreciate authors that take the time to write about real situations teens face. Literature is such a wonderful way to show readers that they are not alone in their struggles.

One Last Gripe: I was somewhat frustrated by not getting to see exactly what happened to Brookner and Gliss. I would have liked to see more about how their actions were dealt with by the school board.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: Evie's strong voice – she was a breath of fresh air

First Sentence: I manage to grab the snake, but not without twisting my foot and falling butt-first into the creek.

Favorite Character: Evie

Least Favorite Character: Coach Gliss

This girl is different… That’s what Evie has always told herself—and it’s true. Home-schooled by her counter culture mom, she’s decided to see what high school is like for the first time—for her senior year. And what a year it is.

As it turns out, it’s not just Evie who’s Different. Lots of people are. Many of her assumptions about others are turned on their heads as she makes friends with kids her own age for the first time, discovers what’s good and what’s bad about high school, and learns lessons about power and its abuse—both by the administration and by Evie herself.


  1. Sounds really great thanks to your wonderful review! Adding to my list!


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