Review: Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin

in a sentence or so: Charlotte just moved with her genius little brother, her professor mom and her newly famous author father to the Pacific Northwest. now, all she has to do is prepare herself for college, make friends, and otherwise be a huge success during her senior year while being horribly socially unaware and with zero idea of what she's doing. hopeful cringing ensues.

Charlotte Locke is smart. she's clever. she's witty. she's sweet. and she's lost. after moving to a new school her senior year, and not the same one as her genius little brother James Henry, Charlotte has to start a whole new life. which, as you can imagine, just might be the most anxiety inducing process ever.  so throw in the mix that Charlotte has dyscalculia (a learning disorder that makes math darn-near impossible), and Charlotte's difficult transition is made exponentially worse.

Charlotte slowly learns the ropes of the new school from the mousy student ambassador over the first few days and quickly spots the bright pink hair of Amanda. Amanda radiates confidence, sex appeal, and just has whatever It is that Charlotte does not. the fates throw Charlotte and Amanda together and soon Charlotte is entrenched in Amanda's world. deciding she needs to do something to stand out on her college applications, Charlotte decides to go for the debate team - which has nothing to do with her public speaking skills (none) and everything to do with a hot boy named Neal.

Charlotte has no idea who she is or what she wants from life. she knows what her parents want for her life, and what her friends want from their lives, and even what the boy-next-door Milton (who's obsessed with mushrooms, btw) wants from his life. but when it comes to her own, she's struggling to find out who she is and what she wants.

this book put a pit in my stomach for just about the first 3/4. Charlotte is seriously lacking social awareness, her parents are obviously going in drastically different directions, her shaky relationship with Amanda and Neal is frightening, and her total abandonment of grades and future focus is disheartening. it's a lot to handle. and that's the point. it's all too much for Charlotte and it spirals out of control and she's in over her head and you are right there with her, hoping she can stay above the surface.

i love Charlotte so much. i wanted to hold her and hug her and be her real bestie and give her legit advice and encourage her to be who she really is...instead i had to hope for the best and cheer for her when she got it right and mourn for her when she didn't. plus, her little brother is the BEST. seriously, he reminded me a bit of Charles Wallace from A Wrinkle in Time so you know he's incredible. his friendship with Milton and his genuine adoration for Charlotte add in just the right amount of hopefulness to keep you moving.

i was all about Charlotte from the very start to the very end, and you will be too. sometimes she makes you cringe, and sometime she makes you laugh. ultimately this was a story about self-discovery and overcoming labels and loving yourself. such a good read for anyone interested in a high school drama with depth and a focus on self acceptance.

fave quote: "Yes, it was true. I was the biggest black hole of them all. Or I had been, at least, because that's how I'd seen myself. That's how I'd seen myself before Milton came along that day in the woods.  Sometimes it takes another person to help you see yourself. Sometimes it takes a mushroom boy." (pg 300 | 304 Nook)

fix er up: i would have liked to see parts of the plot a bit more fleshed out - particularly the stuff with her parents and her coming into a relationship with Amanda. that's not to say it all didn't sound believable...i just wanted more development.

title: Girl Wonder
author: Alexa Martin
publisher: Disney Hyperion
release date: May 3, 2011
genre: Contemporary
learn more about this book at: Amazon | Goodreads

[ftc notice: i received a digital galley of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Disney Hyperion in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.]

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.

3 comments:

  1. sounds like a spin off series needs to be about the awesomeness that is her younger brother

    ReplyDelete
  2. Did you mean Charles Wallace as the little brother? Calvin was the boyfriend.

    ReplyDelete
  3. eriks - after chatting with the author, that might be a possibility. word!

    and yes, i most certainly did mean CW. sorry about that! i changed it in the post. :)

    ReplyDelete

Hey you! What do you have to say?