FICTION

Just Another Girl

256p. ebook available. Scholastic/Point. Mar. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545956284.
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Gr 7 Up—What if everything you thought about someone was completely wrong? Eulberg's tragicomic novel explores that question in a story of a love triangle with a hard-reality twist. Hope Kaplan knows her charming, clumsy best friend, Brady, like the back of her hand, and she also knows that he should be with her and not with his obnoxiously perfect girlfriend, Parker. What Hope does not know, however, is that Parker has a secret life that she is barely surviving. The plot unfolds in alternating first-person narratives—Hope's, Parker's, and then (unnecessarily) Brady's. Hope describes her struggle to create a competition-worthy Rube Goldberg machine, break out of her shell, and snag Brady for herself. Parker, a blonde beauty who seems to have everything, tells a very different tale. Readers will find Hope realistic if shallow, partially because she is set up by circumstances, but Parker—tough, confused, rightfully angry—is the star of this show. Sadly, the situation that has made her life so difficult feels unreal, and none of the causes of her distress, especially her family, emerge as anything but props to hold up the plot. While there are many winning elements to this story, especially the concept, the dialogue occasionally seems forced, and the plot drags a little, making this a poor choice for reluctant readers.
VERDICT Purchase only where there is high demand for realistic relationship books.

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