November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

The Girl Who Fell by S.M. Parker | SLJ Review

See Our Best Books of 2015

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

redstarParker, S.M. The Girl Who Fell. 368p. ebook available. S. & S./Simon Pulse. Mar. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481437257.The Girl Who Fell by S. M. Parker

Gr 9 Up –The opening pages find the protagonist Zephyr in a dark house, alone, and about to come face to face with a tormentor. Flash back to three months earlier. Senior year is not exactly perfect with Zephyr’s dad suddenly taking off, but at least her field hockey team is on track for playoffs, and hopefully an acceptance letter from Boston College will arrive soon. Having the new cute guy, Alec, take an interest doesn’t hurt, either. As Zephyr’s relationship with Alec intensifies, her friendships suffer. His jealousy and insecurity weave a dangerous web, threatening to trap Zephyr. When he turns physically violent, the teen’s friends step up to help her realize she needs out. Ending the relationship won’t be easy. Parker expertly presents the complexity of abusive relationships. Having Zephyr, an intelligent, strong-willed, and practical character, trapped by a manipulative abuser illustrates how dating violence and abuse can happen to anyone. As for the often misdirected question “How does someone let this happen?” Zephyr never makes a conscious decision to let Alec control her. She finds herself justifying his manipulative behaviors as love. She is slowly pushed to and past her personal limits, emotionally and even sexually. Parker’s powerful cautionary tale highlights a terrifying reality for many teens. Zephyr’s story outlines warning signs that may be a lifesaver to others in similar situations. VERDICT An invaluable addition to any collection.–Carrie Fox, South Park High School, PA

This review was published in the School Library Journal January 2016 issue.

Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz (sdiaz@mediasourceinc.com) is School Library Journal's Reviews Team Manager and SLJTeen newsletter editor. She has her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.

Share
A Day-Long Celebration of Fandom-Beloved Stories and Characters
Join Library Journal and School Library Journal for our inaugural LibraryCon Live! We’re excited to offer this day-long virtual festival for book nerds, librarians, and fans of graphic novels, sci-fi, and fantasy. Network online with other fans and explore our virtual exhibit hall where you’ll hear directly from publishers about their newest books and engage in live chats with featured authors. You’ll also learn from librarians and industry insiders on how to plan and host your own Comic Con-style event.