I have been tearing through many potential Printz, Newbery, and Caldecott hopefuls that I was super excited to just take a break and read something for fun. While Girls Like Me wasn’t the fluffy book I had expected, the beautiful prose made it a something wonderful to savor.
Girls Like Me by Lola St. Vil
Shay’s father died unexpectedly and her mother ran off years ago. She is forced to live with her stepmother, who continuously nags Shay to lose weight. At school, Shay only has two best friends, Boots who has terminal brain tumors and Dash who’s fabulous-ness and love for other boys isn’t something his father can accept. The three outcasts all find comfort in each other, even though the bullying is terrible. Shay also finds comfort in an anonymous online friend, Godot. The two connect over parental trouble, her father being dead and his parents going through a messy divorce. Shay knows that Godot goes to her school, but she isn’t quite sure who it is. Godot keeps pushing to meet her in real life, but Shay just doesn’t have the confidence for that. Shay is constantly pushed into doing things she doesn’t want to. The hope is that one day she will find the confidence to take action and stand up for herself.
I was truly compelled by the writing of this novel. While the plot wasn’t particularly awesome, I really liked the poetry. I feel like Godot could have been better developed and the stepmother could have been more rounded out. However, the writing presents a unique new perspective.