Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Candace Reviews Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin

Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin
Hardcover, 304 pgs.
Published May 3rd, 2011 by Hyperion
Reading Level: Young Adult {older YA}
Source: Purchased
As if transferring senior year weren't hard enough, Charlotte Locke has been bumped to lower level classes at her new school. With no friends, a terrible math SAT score, and looming college application deadlines, the future is starting to seem like an oncoming train for which she has no ticket.
Then Amanda enters her orbit like a hot-pink meteor, offering Charlotte a ticket to something else: popularity. Amanda is fearless, beautiful, brilliant, and rich. As her new side kick, Charlotte is brought into the elite clique of the debate team—and closer to Neal, Amanda's equally brilliant friend and the most perfect boy Charlotte has ever seen.
But just when senior year is looking up, Charlotte’s life starts to crumble. The more things heat up between Charlotte and Neal, the more Neal wants to hide their relationship. Is he ashamed? Meanwhile, Amanda is starting to act strangely competitive, and she's keeping a secret Charlotte doesn't want to know.
Talented newcomer Alexa Martin delivers a poignant story of first love, jealousy and friendship, where the ups and downs of senior year have never been so complicated. What else can Charlotte do but throw her hands up and ride?

This review was first posted at Candace's Book Blog.
 Before I picked this book up I had some concerns about it having enough plot.  I must have read a review or something that put that in my head, but I wanted to like it so badly that I was afraid that something would be wrong with it.  But this book pulled me in immediately.  Charlotte is a character that really POP's.  I'm all about strong characters that stand out and Charlotte does.  As does the rest of her family and her 'friends'.  They all are easy to picture and imagine.  Their personalities really stand out.
I could understand and relate to Charlotte almost right away.  She's more snarky then I am and quicker to open her mouth and say what she's really thinking.  At least that's how she is at home with her family.  But at school you can tell she's unsure of who she is.  Where she fits in.  It's a scary public school full of rude and obnoxious people and she just doesn't know what or how to do things.  So when Girl Wonder, Amanda pulls her under her wing and cute boy Neal starts paying attention to her, she's all over it.  She starts doing things that she normally wouldn't do and all her time and attention is focused on them.  To me this seems pretty realistic.  As an adult I could see where things were going, as a matter of a fact the story line itself was fairly predictable but it was fine, it worked for this book.  And there were plenty of surprises still.  In the beginning Charlotte is able to resist some bad behavior so you don't know how far she'll go to try to keep herself in her 'group'.  I was kind of surprised at how far things did go and that Alexa didn't really hold back on letting things happen.  But it was real.  I mean, we know kids have sex and they do drugs and they steal and well, they do bad things.  All those things happen in this book.  For that reason I recommend it for the older teens {high school age and older}.  But Charlotte has to find her way and it's not an easy ride and there's some pretty big falls but I enjoyed being on that ride with her and watching her find her strength within herself.  Also I feel that the things she went through are important to show teens that you shouldn't just  do things for other people, follow your heart because you really don't want things to go the way they went for Charlotte.
There are some other things in this book to add to the story as well.  Charlotte's parents are having a hard time and she has a learning disability that keeps her from being in the gifted class that she should be in.  She also has a cute little brother who is kind of hard to explain but is a great addition to the story line.  There's also another boy that I'll just not mention too much here... you'll have to see for yourself.
I really enjoyed this book and it felt real.  These are things that teens deal with everyday and most everyone should have some sort of connection with it. 

Find Alexa Martin:
Disclosure: I purchased this book and all opinions expressed are my own, I was not paid or influenced in any way.

This Review was written by Candace:
Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at http://www.candacesbookblog.com, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

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