3.5"This is the last time, the girl thought, that she would remember these things.If they floated back to her again, she would paddle away.When the remembering was done, the forgetting could begin."Story of a Girl is, simply put, the story of a girl, who is flawed, misunderstood and taken for granted, thanks to a promiscuous reputation which she herself helped create. There aren’t many things about Deanna Lambert that are likeable, but that’s okay, because you still understand her.I’ll be honest. Going in, I was prepared to hate Deanna. And for a while, I did. Thirteen? Pot? And with a seventeen-year old guy?? And I’m supposed to feel bad because people call you a slut?? Huh. Unlikely.But the more I read, the more genuine Deanna felt. Like each page was adding shades to her personality until she became a real, breathing person. She went from being the girl who let her parents down, to a girl trying to redeem herself in their eyes. She went from being the girl who screwed up one Tuesday night, to a girl looking for a second chance. And it was sad. Not the kind of sad that makes you curl up and cry, but the kind of sad that weighs you down."Forgetting isn’t enough.You can paddle away from the memories and think they are gone.But they will keep floating back, again and again and again."Story of a Girl is a very short book, and yet, Sara Zarr manages to accomplish a lot in a mere 192 pages. She creates a character, whose resilience to go on even when things turn ugly, makes you respect her despite her many misgivings. She creates a portrait of a dysfunctional, messed-up family, with a distant dad, who prefers giving the cold shoulder rather than talking things out. She also creates some very solid relationships – Deanna’s bond with her brother, her niece, even with her gay boss – that are genuinely heart-warming. And all this, she complements with some very beautiful writing.I would have given this a four if it weren’t for the end. I felt it was too abrupt, too incomplete. Some things sort out, and some don’t. I’m not saying I wanted a happily-ever-after, but I wanted Deanna to be redeemed and different, and maybe she was, but it didn’t feel that way. So the new term starts, and then what?? She’ll still be called a slut?? Doesn’t that mean we’re back in square one?? And I don’t get why Lee behaved the way she did. Doesn’t make sense. It also bothers me that Deanna’s Dad never really told her he loved her. I know it’s implied, but I wish he were portrayed in a more positive light.Still, Story of a Girl was well worth my time. Not a gush-worthy, profound book, but very intense and well-written for something so short."Sometimes rescue comes to you.It just shows up, and you do nothing.Maybe you deserve it, maybe you don’t.But be ready, when it comes,to decide if you will take the outstretched handand let it pull you ashore."