Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin
304 Pages (Hardcover)
Hyperion Book CH
May 3, 2011
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 book is about so many different things, but mostly it is about life. It is the story of one girl's journey that is very entertaining to read and leaves you with a hopeful, optimistic outlook on life in general (without being cheesy).
Charlotte has always been in the gifted and talented programs at school. She excels at reading and writing... but she is diagnosed with a learning disability when it comes to numbers. When Charlotte switches to Shady Groves school, she is unable to enter her normal gifted programs because of it. Now she has to brave her scary - shady - school, ridiculously easy classes, and living with the weight of the impossible expectations from her father.
Charlotte's education and learning disability may frame the novel, but this isn't just a book about school. Actually, it really isn't about school at all. It is about learning, yes, but learning from life experiences. When Charlotte gets involved with Amanda (A.K.A Girl Wonder), she will fight with everything she has to stay on the "inside". She's hanging out with the "right" group, the untouchably rich and popular.... but maybe the "right" group is more wrong. Charlotte finds herself experimenting with drugs, sex and debate team? She's kind of confused about it too. Bottom line, this story is a wonderful ride that you don't want to miss.
I was not expecting this book to be so touching, endearing, sad and funny. It had so many different levels of depth that I would have ever pegged it for. It deals with tough issues such as family drama, first love, drugs, parental pressure, failure, learning disabilities and much more. This novel is just really filled with life. The worlds are so full of life that the story is consuming. From someone who loves science fiction and fantasy, a finding a great contemporary is a big deal. I would recommend this novel without a second thought. Read it.