|Love this cover!|
Things look pretty bleak for Charlotte until she's befriended by Amanda, the hot pink-haired rebel from the gifted program. Amanda is like the Cher to Charlotte's Tai (yay, Clueless references!) and suddenly Charlotte finds herself climbing the social ladder higher than she ever imagined.
I figured I knew how this plot would play out. Amanda and Charlotte would be friends, issues would escalate, and then, of course, Charlotte would find herself friend-dumped and have to figure out where her real relationships were. But GIRL WONDER was much more nuanced than that. Martin addresses a lot of real high school issues--friends, boyfriends, college applications, drugs and drinking, home life issues--in a way that often surprised me. I won't lie--some of the scenes kind of shocked me and reminded me just how long it's been since I've been in high school, and how much things have changed and become even more difficult to navigate.
Charlotte was a character who I didn't find likable all the time--I cringed at some of her wrong turns and her naive assumptions--but you know what? I LIKED that I didn't like her all the time. It made her feel that much more human to me. Like how even though you've got that best friend from middle school/high school/college/whatever that you would walk through fire for, sometimes that just annoy you, but in the end you love them anyway? Charlotte was like that for me. Plus, it made her transformation throughout the book that much more satisfying to read.
GIRL WONDER is definitely worth picking up if you already love contemporary/realistic YA--or even if you don't always, like me. It's a little different, a little edgier, and worth your time!
(I got this book for free from NetGalley, and sadly no one is sending me chocolate cake or jewelry for writing this review. I mean, unless you want to. But you all should definitely check out NetGalley!)