Book Review: Formerly Shark Girl

Hi there!

In March, I read a book by the title of Shark Girl and I enjoyed it. It was new and interesting. The review for that is on goodreads so if you are curious about the book itself or what I quickly thought of it the link is right here: Shark Girl .   Ok, now that THAT is out of the way, moving on. After finishing that book, I discovered that there was a sequel to it. Naturally, I went to the public library's site and checked the catalog to see if they had it. They didn't and that was SUCH a bummer. The other day, I was at the library and I was walking around the teen section and just glanced over the New Book area. Formerly Shark Girl caught my eye. I checked it and was so elated. It was the sequel I had been wanting to read so many months ago. I had already forgotten (considering how many books I have checked out and that I own that I have not yet read) and jumped at the opportunity to pick up the book. In half a day and a little of a night, I had finished it. So, here is my review.

Formerly Shark Girl

Author: Kelly Bingham
Genre: YA Contemporary
Year: 2013

Formerly Shark Girl is the story of Jane Arrowood, a girl who lost her right arm when she was attacked by a shark. The first book was about her ordeal afterwards, adjusting to her new life. This second book gives us more of Jane and how her life is shaped by her choices and by the people around her.

Formerly Shark Girl

Jane has always wanted to be an artist but having only a left hand makes her passion a little difficult. Having been through what she has, she volunteers at the hospital, and considers becoming a nurse. Formerly Shark Girl picks up in Jane's senior year, when she is applying for colleges and deciding what direction her life will start to go in.

This book is really interesting because of the style in which it is written. There are really no chapters. There are just short passages, almost poem like that are told from Jane's point of view, with bold titles. Some only make up a page. Other pages have phone conversations or text messages sent between Jane and another character. All of these short passages are quick to get through but manage to tell everything that needs telling. Its like taking a wordy novel and chopping it down to only what is completely necessary. There's no fluff and every piece fits in where it should. At first, I wasn't sure how much I was going to like it. It seemed like just another YA novel to me. But while I was reading, something inside me shifted and I became engrossed. Some parts were so typical of a girl and of the common perception of high school. For the record, prom was never a huge deal to me, it came and it went. Its not exactly something I dwell on and it was just ok. Jane at one point gets on this thing about having missed out on her first year of being allowed to date because of her whole ordeal with her arm. Understandable of course, but she goes on a bit thinking of how she's never had her first kiss or been on a date before. I'm sitting here the same point, I hadn't either. I only just had both this past year. Did it bother me? Not one bit. Seems like a minor thing to get worked up over in my opinion, but then, its just my opinion. When she actually has her first, you gotta wonder a bit....but as the story progresses there's another romantic thing going on that I enjoyed much more.

Guess what? Max is back. Dreamy Max who graduated last year, who was captain of the swim team. Apparently he declined a scholarship to stay at home with his dad. Reasons for which I will not give away. Jane had a crush on Max last book, but now we finally get to see something grow.

I was loving it there towards the end. There was so much feeling and emotion and excitement. And that last kiss? I squeaked a bit. I liked the romance here. It was great. I also loved seeing how Jane saw every aspect in her life. Things were foggy to her and we saw her develop and grow as a character. So fabulous!!!! Thank you Ms. Bingham, for that, you did a magnificent job. I'm certain that Jane has made the right choices and that things will play out well for her, even with all the bumps inherent along the way. I give this book a Lone Star rating of ✯✯✯✯.

This concludes another book review, thanks for reading!