Title: Just Another Girl
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Hope knows there’s only one thing coming between her and her longtime crush: his girlfriend, Parker. She has to sit on the sidelines and watch as the perfect girl gets the perfect boy . . . because that’s how the universe works, even though it’s so completely wrong.
Parker doesn’t feel perfect. She knows if everyone knew the truth about her, they’d never be able to get past it. So she keeps quiet. She focuses on making it through the day with her secret safe . . . even as this becomes harder and harder to do. And Hope isn’t making it any easier. . . .
In Just Another Girl, Elizabeth Eulberg astutely and affectingly shows us how battle lines get drawn between girls — and how difficult it then becomes to see or understand the girl standing on the other side of the divide.
You think you have an enemy.
But she’s just another girl.
I enjoyed this book so, so much!
There’s a reason why I’m rating it 4 stars though:
The book is incredibly short, 256 pages are not enough to build plot and develop characters for this kind of story; it’s a story that needs to be told and it deserves depth.
This book was a very light reading that I finished quickly.
And here we enter a topic that most of us are familiar with from our high school days: that dread we feel when we see our crush’s girlfriend… or it doesn’t even have to be a crush, it can be that dread when we see our best friend getting along with someone else and the gears in our mind instantly begin to spin: he/she is here to steel my friend/crush from me! We tend to feel and think the same as Hope, we think this person is here to only annoy us and don’t stop to think that, if given a chance, this person may be nice. We turn a blind eye to the lecture our conscience is giving us and won’t budge.
In Hope’s POV all we hear are her tedious complaints about her body, her parents (especially her mom), Brady’s commitment with the club, Parker seeking Brady’s attention all to herself, Parker not wanting Brady to be friends with her, a so on. Depending on our experience, our first thought may even be “what an annoying girl that Parker is…”
Then we get to Parker’s perspective which focuses on her struggle cope with her situation and to keep her reality a secret from the majority of people, especially Hope. This POV is the one I enjoyed the most, I empathized with her and it’s here we face the reality of this concept: it’s true that we tend to belittle other people for assumptions of ours that are unproven but we have no problem spreading. We don’t really know anything about the other person!
I loved the interactions of Hope’s mom, Madelyn and her club mates. They all add something extra to the book but my favorite character is her best friend Madelyn, I wish I could be as careless as she is! Anyway, Madelyn is more rational than Hope and even if she’s not fond of Parker, she really tries to show Hope the other side of the coin.
What I want to highlight is that we are not perfect and nobody deserves to be hated whether or not is going through a rough time; we need to give others the benefit of the doubt as much as they should give it to us. As I said before, our mind can be pig-headed and ruled by out-of-control hormones that don’t let us think things through before taking action so we end up hurting other people’s feelings. In my opinion, this is something every tween and teen should be taught!