Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Girl by Bart Bare

Book:  Girl
Author:  Bart Bare
Publisher:  Canterbury House
Year:  2010
Reason I read it:  Required read for my YA lit class
My grade: D-

After her mother dies, Loren Creek, a precocious 14-year-old, flees the foster-care system in Tennessee by moving to North Carolina. With the help of a curmudgeonly mountain man, she manages to evade detection by assuming the identity of a boy. Having studied dance and gymnastics at her mother's insistence, Loren has a lean, muscular appearance, which allows her to easily pass as a boy when she enters high school. She reluctantly becomes the kicker on the school football team and grows popular with boys and girls alike, causing some stressful, confusing, even dangerous situations.
Meanwhile, Loren's foster-care guardian takes her disappearance personally. He won't give up until he finds her and places her with what he considers a good family. A confrontation is inevitable.

My Review

Where to start?  There were so many problems with this book.  First and foremost, it needs an editor.  Badly.  Someone was very comma happy, but seriously, even my 13 year old knows that commas are not used to separate the subject and the verb and she writes in text speak most of the time.  There were quotation marks missing all over the place.  In addition to a usage editor, someone needed to edit the writing style as well.  Too many long, drawn out descriptions and lots of choppy dialogue.

Speaking of dialogue, the use of the dialect was a little too much.  It was very distracting.  I’m from the region and it felt overdone to me.  I don’t know.  Maybe in other places people think that we really speak that way, but for a young girl to be so “precocious” and intelligent, she really sounded like a backwoods redneck.  I didn’t buy it.

I also had a hard time buying the whole premise of the book.  I don’t understand why it was ok to live with Grandpa Gragg away from her home, but she left the last foster family immediately, even though they seemed nice and grandparent-like as well.  She wasn’t on her own in NC any more than she was on her own before.  I thought she wanted to live alone on her farm, so this just didn’t make any sense whatsoever.

Another part that was difficult to believe is the fact that she was born and raised on a backwoods farm in Tennessee that she learned to tend to all alone, but there was a state-of-the-art dance and gymnastics room there that her mom used to teach her about dance and gymnastics.  Oh, and her mom was too sick to do those things herself but could teach the daughter.  Now, I’m a former dance teacher and my daughter was a competitive gymnast.  You don’t teach those things if you can’t do them yourself because you have to demonstrate them.
In fact, there were so many instances of this sort of thing that I found myself just laughing at the book most of the time.  I pretty much skimmed it in order to finish it.  Then the ending was totally lame and laughable.  They find the dad after all these years?  And they live happily ever after and he marries the very judge whose daughters have been helping Loren “hide” for 2 years?  And she stays in NC with Grandpa Gragg?  What happened to her beloved farm in Tennessee?

Puh-lease!  Sparkly virgin vampires are easier to believe in than this book’s story.

This book is a D-.  It should probably be an F, but I didn’t read it closely enough to do that.  I couldn’t bring myself to do it and so I give it the benefit of the doubt with a 70.

No comments:

Post a Comment