New Girl in Town
Source: Bought through Half.com.
Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
After moving with her parents away from the town where she grew up, 16-year-old Laura Duffy is not fitting in well at Panama Beach High School. Still wearing braces and having no one to eat lunch with, she feels like a big-time loser. It doesn't help that she wasn't able to get the classes she wanted because they moved after school had started, and the one advanced class she was able to get is so confusing that she's in danger of losing her all-important straight-A average.
After defending herself against a female bully, Laura ends up in the school councilor's office. Finally, here's someone who really understands what she's going through! The councilor asks her to join a session group with four fellow misfits to work through the problems they're having at school and at home.
Join Laura Duffy and her new friends as they encounter conflicts, breakthroughs, romance, and some mysterious visits from a Secret Admirer.
New Girl in Town is a fast-paced Christian young adult novel. The characters were complex and realistic and dealt with realistic struggles. Laura, the main character, is very frightened and feels like she's a Nobody who has lost all control of her life. She defines being Somebody by her activities, her grades, and having a boyfriend, but all of that is taken away and she has to come to terms with who she is without them. The story even made me cry in sympathy for Laura.
There was some God talk, mainly about surrendering your circumstances to God and about listening to Him. I liked the overall message, but the story got a little supernatural at the end (like her 'hearing' a mysterious but real vine whisper God's words in her mind).
The were no sex scenes. There was a very minor amount of both explicit and fake bad language. Overall, I'd highly recommend this touching novel.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt from Chapter One
I, Laura Duffy, made a decision on October 20th of my junior year. It was a decision that rocked my world.
After three days at Panama Beach High, it was obvious that I was essentially the biggest loser in Panama City, if not on the planet, and that nobody was ever going to speak to me. Period.
My decision: I couldn't spend another lunch period pretending I didn't CARE that I was being ignored. I knew kids believed being a loser was contagious; I believed it too. I wouldn't want to be friends with me either.
Decision: I was going to go to my locker, get a book, and eat my peanut-butter-and-sweet-pickle sandwich oblivious to all because what I was reading was so utterly stimulating...
Okay, so it was still pretending, but at least with a book in my face nobody would see my awkward expression. You know the one people get when they feel like a large second thumb?