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Skylar Hoyt is a girl who seems to have it all--she's pretty, popular, and has a great-looking boyfriend. Her senior year should be the best one yet. But a horrible experience at a summer party has changed everything. Now she's vowing to make better choices, including going back to church. But as Skylar tries to gain new perspective on life, the world as she knows it begins to fall apart.
Her parents are constantly fighting. Her younger sister has a big secret that Skylar is forced to keep. The guy she's dating is annoyingly jealous. And the new guy down the street is just plain annoying. In the midst of the chaos, Skylar starts to wonder who her real friends are and, even more importantly, who she is.
Series: The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt (Book 1)
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Revell; 1 edition (July 1, 2009)
Page Count: 257 pages
I'm not a big contemporary fan, but after reading Stephanie Morrill's The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet and plus having won this book a while back, I thought I might as well give it a read. Though I'm still not sold on contemporary, I found this book enjoyable.
The Characters: I had a lot of trouble relating to Skylar at first. I've never been popular. I've never smoked. I'm not that materialistic. I've always been the goody two-shoes like Ellie, so I had trouble finding something to latch onto her until later on during the parents fighting sequences. That I have experience with. I liked her unusual ethnicity. I hadn't read a book with a Hawaiian character before let alone main character.
Skylar's friends are all shallow jerks. I personally would have ditched them way earlier. I like Skylar's parents. Though I don't think her mom is a favorable person because she's a coward, I thought she was realistic. Skylar's dad grew on me as the book progressed. Abbie was an all right character. I felt bad for her, knowing some pregnant teens myself and actually being the result of a pregnant teen, I know she was going through a tough experience. I'm glad she showed some bravery instead of taking the easy way out.
Eli and Connor the two love interests were interesting characters. Though almost immediately I was with Connor, since Eli also turned out to be a shallow jerk--a weak shallow jerk.
The Setting: The setting didn't play a huge role, so nothing of note here.
The Writing: The writing was pretty smooth, but some of the time jumps were confusing to me. It may have been the format of the ebook, but it seemed abruptly it would speed weeks and month later or go to another scene and it would disorient me.
Epic Things: Nothing especially epic was in this book, but the custard place for a hangout central made me think of my Yogli Mogli days.
The Theme: The theme was a different one and good one. Skylar has trouble being real with people. She puts on a guise, so no one knows about here problems. This quote basically sums it up:
How would it feel to be authentic? To be the same in the dark and the light, the same whether I was with my pastor or with Jodi. To be like Connor and the rest of his family, who weren’t afraid of people coming close to them, because they hadn’t built up an image to hide scared behind.
~ Skylar from Me, Just Different by Stephanie MorrillSome other good themes were that the only one you can trust fully is God.
“A sad reality, isn’t it? People will always disappoint, whether they intend to or not.”
~Heather from Me, Just Different by Stephanie Morrill
And how to deal with tough times.
“You know, maybe that’s why we’re not allowed doovers,” I said. “The events we’d erase, God uses to shape our lives.”
~ Skylar from Me, Just Different by Stephanie Morrill
All of these were probably some of the highlights of the book since those hit home with me.
A lot of different things are brushed upon such as sex, alcohol, smoking, and pregnancy out of wedlock. Nothing is gone into in great detail though. The boys describing a dead bird was a bit gross and could be disturbing to some.
Conclusion: Me, Just Different isn't one of the best books I've read, but it had its highlights. My favorite parts were probably Skylar, Connor, and the good themes. Three stars!
Stephanie Morrill is a twenty-something living in Kansas with her husband and two kids. Her only talents are reading, writing, and drinking coffee, so career options were somewhat limited. Fortunately, she discovered a passion for young adult novels and has been writing them ever since. Stephanie is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series and is currently working on other young adult projects. She enjoys encouraging and teaching teen writers on her blog.
You can find her on her website, Facebook, Twitter,Pinterest and Goodreads.
Other Reviews of I've done of Stephanie Morrill's Books:
A Book Review of Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft Into A Published Novel
The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet