Always the New Girl by Kelly Vincent
A YA Novel published by KV BOOKS LLC (05/10/22)
“Never expect a guy to change, like mom said. Fortunately I didn’t need anybody to change for me. I was in charge of my own life.” (Kindle edition 46%).
Sarah is at a new school yet again. Her single-parent mother keeps dragging her around the country, from one guy’s house to another. This time, as the new girl, she gets punked by the popular kids. And this time, she decides to fight back. The only way she knows how to fight back is through her knitting. Also through knitting, Sarah makes some real friends, and not just her thousands of followers from her knitting channel online. Things are looking up for Sarah until her mom gets bored and starts looking for a new life and a new guy on her dating apps.
YA, Contemporary, Bullying, Friendship, Romance, Sex, College Application, High School, Drama, Knitting, 3D Printing, Relationships, Mother-Daughter, Single Parent
I love realistic contemporary YA novels, especially ones that focus on relationships and not just teen romances. Always the New Girl has a mother-daughter relationship, a daughter-absent father relationship, a new girl-new school relationship, a new girl-new friends relationship, and of course a young girl-young love relationship. I loved how true and honest all these relationships felt. They were deep, meaty, and developed. Throughout the relationships, Sarah voices her feelings and opinions in such a way that I was drawn to her voice and her stories.
The book is divided into parts, not chapters, and each part is like a small episode as if the book was written and released as parts of a whole or a limited series. Each part has a beginning, middle, and end with Sarah’s growing coming-of-age narrative woven throughout. If you read books in chunks, this writing style will help reorient you. At the beginning of each subsequent part, the author uses Sarah’s voice to summarize the previous part’s main drama.
The author does not hold back with the use of profanity, bullying, domestic violence, and a well-written sex scene.
I more than enjoyed Sarah’s perspective, I was rooting for her to find her voice, figure out her identity, and make her choices. And Sarah did not disappoint me. The book is satisfying. The way it is written is satisfying, easy to read, and insightful.
Given that this is a contemporary YA novel and that it is written in episodic parts, it does not have a strong finite and conclusive ending. The author left open a considerable plot point that I really hope I get to read more about in the next book in the series.
Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this story in exchange for my honest review.
This novel was published by KV BOOKS LLC on 05/10/2022 and is available on Amazon here.
TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50
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