With her home life in shambles, an alcoholic mother who abuses her and a father who pays little attention. 14-year-old Stephanie immerses herself in books, learning what she calls Warrior Words that she uses to cover herself when her mother beats her. Taking the cue from stories her mother tells when sober, Stephanie soon learns the art of lying. When her mother leaves suddenly, Stephanie's world is turned on end. Her uncles suggest she leave Boston and stay with the Sullivan family in L.A. The Sullivans' daughter, Annie, is Stephanie's age, but when the transplanted teen tries to become an insider to Annie's crowd, her lies trip her up, and her facade of bravado is broken. Only then does she begin to find herself and to develop inner strength.
Within the first couple pages of reading these books the thoughts that were swirling in my mind were "This is wierd...Oh God, not one of those books" but within finishing the first chapter I was deeply engrossed with this book. After Stephanie's mother walks out on her and her dad, Stephanie is sent to live with her "uncle" Micheal. At first, Stephanie is just a tiny fish out of water. Micheal has a younger daughter, Annie who is Stephanie's age and Stephanie is quickly accepted in Annie's world of underaged drinking, sex ans smoking, but she's accepted as someone she isn't. Soon enough, Stephanie is smoking and drinking with the likes of the most popular kids in town. But when Stephanie's lies are thrust out in the open she is dishonoured and stripped of all of her "new girl" appeal.
While reading about Stephanie's misfortunes you can't help but realise how good you've got it and how easy life is for yourself compared to her. But by the end of the novel Stephanie's story is all about empowerment. She becoes her own person and sheds all of her lies and in the meantime, she even makes a new friend.
One point of this book I have to address is the culture clash. A new girl, named Amal moves into the neighberhood. She's Egyptian (but born in Georgia) and I loved the fact that Ms Stone has incorperated a new culture in her book (since it was kind of out of the blue!) that is based in a California suburb. And of course that she isn't portrayed as a Muslim extremist (since that is what most authors end up doing, even without trying).
The hardships that Stephanie overcame made me smile for her. I was proud. I was silently cheering "YOU GO GIRL!!" while reading the book. And you really realize that no matter who you are and no matter where you come from, you should never ever give anyone the power to make you feel like less. Even if that person is a blonde goddess. I'm just sayin...
Anyways, this book definetly recieves the Moody seal of approval! Because this book makes you realize who you are and makes you feel strong!
Check out Ms Stone's website here
And order the book on Amazon here