This Girl Is Different

Goodreads describes the book as:

Evie is different. Not just her upbringing-though that’s certainly been unusual-but also her mindset. She’s smart, independent, confident, opinionated, and ready to take on a new challenge: The Institution of School.

It doesn’t take this homeschooled kid long to discover that high school is a whole new world, and not in the way she expected. It’s also a social minefield, and Evie finds herself confronting new problems at every turn, failing to follow or even understand the rules, and proposing solutions that aren’t welcome or accepted.

Not one to sit idly by, Evie sets out to make changes. Big changes. The movement she starts takes off, but before she realizes what’s happening, her plan spirals out of control, forcing her to come to terms with a world she is only just beginning to comprehend.

JJ Johnson’s powerful debut novel will enthrall readers as it challenges assumptions about friendship, rules, boundaries, and power.

I requested this book from Netgalley after reading the review of a friend.  Before I get to my review, let me make clear that I am 48 years old whereas my friend is in her very early twenties.  That difference in age may be a contributing factor for my take on the book vs hers.

Good: Evie is a well thought out, seemingly well adjusted teenager who doesn’t believe in the word “impossible” as she strives to make changes at the school and in people’s lives.  Her desires are always directed, sometimes misguided, at doing good for others – what she thinks is good.  Because she was homeschooled, her interactions within the public school system were believable.  Her romance with Raj seemed a bit grown-up to me but I don’t remember what it was like to be a teenager in love so maybe not.

The writing is excellent, the characters multi-dimensional, school descriptions and teachers seem pretty right on the money.  I would have to say one thing about the book, which influences my final grade, is how it made me feel like I was back in high school – and I didn’t like it much.

Bad: Really can’t think of anything bad to say about the book other than there were a few times I thought it was a little wordy.

Teens would enjoy this book and the social consciousness it brings. All things considered, I give this book an A.


I received this book from Netgalley to review.  The only stipulation they put on reading an advance copy is that the review be done over the entire book.  I am not required to write a good review.  My review is my own.  


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