CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In J.J. Johnson's "This Girl is Different," Evie is different. Everything about her is different: her home, her schooling (she's home-schooled), her name (Evensong Sparkling Morningdew) and even the way she thinks. She is very opinionated, and that comes back to haunt her when she enters "the Institute of School."
Martha, Evie's mother, has always had a grudge against public school, which is why she took it upon herself to teach Evie at home. But now Evie has her eye on college and thinks public school might be a good idea.
Three days before school starts, Evie is on a hike through the woods when she sprains her ankle. She is stranded for an hour until Rajas and Jacinda, two popular teens in the same grade as Evie, come to her rescue.
Now she has two friends, which makes school a little easier. But when she realizes how socially unjust high school is, she isn't going to let it be.
Evie wants to see changes. She writes letters to the newspaper, talks many times with the principal and even starts her own blog with Jacinda. They post about crimes in the school and even glue lightning bolts to the doors of the rooms of the teachers they see as unjust.
Things begin to spiral out of control quickly. The school is threatening to expel the blog's anonymous creators for cyber bullying, and all the students dislike the idea of change.
Everyone, even the principal, knows Evie is the creator of this drama. When students and teachers turn on her, the blog becomes used against students, including Evie.
Even though the entire school despises her, Evie somehow turns things around and proves her innocence. But you'll just have to read "This Girl is Different" to find out how.
I definitely recommend this book to other teens, male or female; like Evie, it is different. I've never read anything like it. Instead of the usual drama with the "populars" and "nerds," this book really has no enemy or opposing characters; it's all internal conflict that teens can relate to.It's not the usual subject matter covered in teen dramas, and that kept me interested for all 316 pages. I loved "This Girl is Different" and couldn't stop reading it. I would give it four out of five stars.