Author: Alexa Martin
Genre: Teen Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Hyperion Book
ISBN-13 Book: 9781423121350
Source: Read galley from NetGalley. This is my honest review!
Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
After moving to a new town and a new school, Charlotte Locke, struggles to find a place where she can fit in. After being refused admission to the GATE (Gifted and Talented) program at her new school because of her learning disability in math, Charlotte feels like she is stranded in a sea of substandard education; until she meets Amanda (aka Girl Wonder). Amanda is everything Charlotte wishes she could be, confident, intelligent, and fun. As Charlotte begins to enjoy the newness of popularity, she begins to discover that the higher you are, the harder you fall.
WOW! Alexa Martin has written a novel that transports the reader back into high school once more complete with insecurities, competition, and a deep seeded desire to fit in.
Martin's characterization is phenomenal. I couldn't believe how much I connected with Charlotte while reading this novel. Charlotte's insecurities were so understandable and believable for a teen in her situation. In some ways it reminded me very much how I felt in high school, desperate to fit in, but still wanting to be myself. I love how Charlotte makes excuses at first for not wanting to do some of the more outrageous or rule breaking things that Amanda did. I was pleased to see her be true to herself in the face of peer pressure, yet even the strong sometimes falter.
Amanda was everything Charlotte longed to be; smart, sexy, confident, rich, and in control of her environment. People looked at Amanda with awe and Charlotte wanted to be just like her. Charlotte bases her decisions on her desire to fit in and get the guy--even if you have to go along with antics she didn't agree with.
In many ways this was a novel of self discovery. Charlotte has to learn what she wants and learn to be comfortable with herself. She has spent so long trying to please everyone, be what everyone wants her to be, and to fit in that she loses herself.
I can't say how much I enjoyed this book. The realism was fantastic and the character development was spot on. I could believe that Charlotte was a real person, and I could understand her desperate desire to fit in and be liked--it is a desire that I believe all teens feel at one point or the other.
This is a must read though for lovers of realistic fiction, though I would recommend this to older teens due to some mature themes. Sex, some drug and alcohol use may make this one a bit much for younger teen readers who aren't comfortable with those topics.
Overall this is realistic fiction at its finest.
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