Just Another Girl – Elizabeth Eulberg

I read the author’s note, and I’ll admit that the premise of this story was good. It was well-intentioned. However, by trying to make Parker an “approachable” mean girl, she ends up a.) not being mean at ALL, b.) overly sympathetic, and c.) not really the stereotypical “girl who’s got the guy’s affections,” considering the pragmatic state of Parker and Brady’s relationship. Thus, this story doesn’t flip any of the cliches on their heads.

Synopsis

You resent her. You can’t stand her. You might even hate her.

But you don’t know her at all.

Hope knows there’s only one thing coming between her and her longtime crush: his girlfriend, Parker. She has to sit on the sidelines and watch as the perfect girl gets the perfect boy . . . because that’s how the universe works, even though it’s so completely wrong.

Parker doesn’t feel perfect. She knows if everyone knew the truth about her, they’d never be able to get past it. So she keeps quiet. She focuses on making it through the day with her secret safe . . . even as this becomes harder and harder to do. And Hope isn’t making it any easier. . . .

In Just Another Girl, Elizabeth Eulberg astutely and affectingly shows us how battle lines get drawn between girls — and how difficult it then becomes to see or understand the girl standing on the other side of the divide.

You think you have an enemy. But she’s just another girl.

Review

I read the author’s note, and I’ll admit that the premise of this story was good. It was well-intentioned. However, by trying to make Parker an “approachable” mean girl, she ends up a.) not being mean at ALL, b.) overly sympathetic, and c.) not really the stereotypical “girl who’s got the guy’s affections,” considering the pragmatic state of Parker and Brady’s relationship. Thus, this story doesn’t flip any of the cliches on their heads.

In fact, if anything, Hope is the classic “man-stealer” in this case, as well as the “mean girl” to Parker. She doesn’t appreciate her life at all! It takes her parents making drastic moves for her to start listening.

I like the (very low) self-awareness that Hope would fail the Bechdel test, because she talks about Brady ALL. THE. TIME. Seriously, he’s just not into you — get over it! And seriously, don’t take it out on his girlfriend (until you find something out that causes you to start pitying her, at least). The frustrating part about this book is that I don’t think the characters understood the consequences of their actions well-enough. Brady got an easy-out. Hope fell all over herself and was immediately forgiven. And how could Parker’s stance on handouts change so drastically by the end of the book? “Perspective” isn’t a good enough reason!

I also don’t find Hayley sympathetic at all, and truly wanted to see her suffer. She honestly doesn’t deserve Parker’s care. Seriously, rehab and hospital stints are NOT cheap in the US. Parker should’ve put her foot down a long time ago. And was that episode REALLY enough to serve as a catalyst for Hayley to turn her life around? I found that pretty suspect.

In general, I felt like the characters weren’t well developed enough. And I also felt like a lot of the scenes were unnecessary — for example, why bother showing Hope and Madelyn at the 16+ club multiple times? I didn’t know what Eulberg was trying to achieve from those bartender encounters.

The only slightly thought-provoking part of this book came from Brady’s POV. I definitely had an inkling that his situation would unfold the way it did. But honestly, he got out of there relatively unscathed.

Related Reading

  • Winning – Lara DeLoza
  • Better Off Friends – Elizabeth Eulberg
  • How to Break a Boy – Laurie Devore

Rating: 1/5

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s