Saturday, February 28, 2009

Just Another Girl by Melody Carlson

Aster Flynn is stuck. She has to spend all of her "free" time with her younger sister, Lily, who, though fifteen, is mentally handicapped. At age seventeen, Aster should be hanging out with friends, dating boys, and working at a fun job. But her dad's MIA, her mom is always at work, and her older sister Rose is too self-centered to give her any help.

It's not that Aster doesn't love Lily--it's just that for once she'd like to be able to be a normal teenager. So when a cute, popular guy seems to take an interest in her, Aster hatches a plan. Somehow she has to get her workaholic mom and deadbeat dad to be the parents Lily needs so that Aster can have a life of her own. But can she ever get her parents to start acting like adults? Is this new guy worth the trouble? And, most importantly, will Lily get hurt in the process?

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of around two hundred books, many of them for teens, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series. Visit Melody's website at

My Review:
Here is a book that will appeal to most teens. I started it this morning and unable to put it down, read throughout the day all the way to the satisfying end. Although my eyes are tired, I am content that my time was well spent. The plot is interesting, the characters believable, and the ending is unpredictable.

Written in first person narrative, Aster, a seventeen-year-old modern-day Cinderella, has way more on her plate than most adults, yet she somehow manages--everything but her life. It's interesting to see how Aster handles the care of Lily, her mentally disabled fifteen-year-old sister. The character of Lily is so well-written that I found myself "seeing" her as she shouted, "No. No. No." Aster attends a youth group at church, mainly to gain an hour of relief from the burden of Lily.

Into the picture enters a good-looking guy who seems interested in her, and Aster reacts as any teen would. The birthday party tension is palpable; Aster chooses not to drink and makes a painful decision.

If you are a teenager or know a teenager, this is one I heartily recommend.

If you would like a copy, click here.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great review. This book sounds interesting to me.

Nise' said...

Sounds like a good one! I have a teenager, but will read it myself!