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Cool Girl: Roman (Girl #1)

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  1,886 Ratings  ·  216 Reviews
Meet Andrea Marr, straight-A high school student, thrift-store addict, and princess of the downtown music scene. Andrea is about to experience her first love, first time, and first step outside the comfort zone of high school, with the help of indie rock band The Color Green.

"After I saw Todd Sparrow something deep inside me began to change. It was not a big change and I

Hardcover, 298 pages
Published March 1st 1998 by Beltz & Gelberg (first published September 13th 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Diana Welsch
Jan 10, 2009 Diana Welsch rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who are interested in frozen yogurt or graphic sex
Shelves: young-adult
I I wanted to use Girl for a Teen book display on music, but found that it was catalogued as Adult fiction. Huh? I had heard that it was a coming-of-age novel about a teenage girl who gets involved in her local grunge music scene in Portland in the 90s. So I read it to find out why it was in Adult.

Now, I suppose I can see why it was. While no adult could ever enjoy reading this book, it does contain quite a bit of graphic sex. So much, in fact, that it struck me as unrealistic. Did normal teenag
Jun 14, 2007 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apr 11, 2011 Aviva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the book, to be honest. This is a book that I will reread once every few years just because it's like one long deja vu trip. Andrea's voice is strong and honest and the entire book is told in a kind of stream of conscious that doesn't so much feel like we're reading the story as it happens, but that it's being recounted later. Either over coffee years after the fact, or because we found her diary helping her move.

I'm not sure who this book was originally supposed to be marketed to
"Even when I did bad things, they were the RIGHT bad things, the NORMAL bad things, like drinking or staying out late or having sex with boys."

This is Andrea Marr. She's a smart girl, a cool girl, a kind of bad girl, a complicated girl. She's in love with a rock star, and goes for fro-yo with her friends, and she doesn't always know what she wants.

I wanted to give this 4.5 stars. Like, 'really really liked it.' But it wasn't so hard to bump it up to 5.

I was 13 when this was published, so I didn'
Dec 19, 2007 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my 13 yr old cousin
I skipped school in seventh grade because I could not put this book down. I’d read it again today if someone mailed me a copy (it’s like 99¢ off Amazon marketplace), and most likely laugh through fits of nostalgia. Accurate in its 'teenspeak' (though slightly unimaginative in its style/form/content) Girl is the unsurprising product of a male writer for Details aiming his howitzer at the wanna-be-jezebel readers of Sassy magazine. Cute, fun, brazen but not quite 'art'.
Nov 28, 2011 Taylor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had read an interview with the author of this novel and he seemed like a pretty cool guy, so I picked up this book. My expectations dropped as I read the back cover and the first few pages, and my expectations were met without exceeding them.
The choppy sentence structure bothered me at first, but grew on me as I read. I will say that until I got near the end I didn't think Andrea was the brightest. Her narration was very flat and dull and simple. Not that there's anything particularly wrong
Jun 13, 2014 Sheyenne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every Girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This story is really good. I was scared that I wouldn't like it but I really enjoyed it. I don't know why but I have an obsession with the 90s maybe because I was born in the 90s but after I saw this book I knew I had to read it. Being that I was a baby during this time I don't really remember it but if it was anything like this for girls growing up I'm glad I was just a kid.

Summary: Andrea Marr is a teenage girl growing up in the 90s. She's obsessed with indie rock and the rock band The Color G
Sep 18, 2012 Izzy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A few years ago, I experienced an incredibly debauched New Year's Eve with my hetero lifemate best friend. Just the two of us, in a whirl of: BK warehouse parties, heavy metal bars full of losers and go-go girls, $40 cabs to Harlem, a pale pink snowflake dawn.

One persistent takeaway from that night, imprinted onto my brain for all of posterity, is the wholly absurd sight of dozens of mini-trampolines flying in every direction. Once lining every spare inch of labyrinthine cement floor, they succ
Jason Gacek
Jul 26, 2010 Jason Gacek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
The early Nineties alternative music scene as seen through the eyes of Andrea Marr, a Portland, Oregon, teenager who lives out in the suburbs: Girl goes to shows, shops at thrift stores, obsesses about boys, and eats a lot of frozen yogurt. Andrea provides the voice for the narration, and it reads like a long string of events and activities over a three-year period covering her sophomore through senior years. There is no traditional dialogue in the book; rather Andrea reports what she does and w ...more
Oct 16, 2012 Lola rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So today I went in this bookstore and I was wearing this really cute dress and I had my hair in a bun but the lady at the desk was giving me these weird looks and I guess she must have been jealous because I was young and have a boyfriend and she's almost forty and has to dust books off all day. And then my friend came in and it was so random we began hopping around. And then everyone was looking at us so we ran behind a bookshelf and I knocked a book off because I was so excited and it turned o ...more
I started this book at a request from one of my friends, who said that it was "pretty good". Usually, the books she recommends me ARE, in fact, good, quick reads (more often than not, quite to my surprise.).

This, however, was NOT one of those books.

The very first paragraph erased any interest I might have had in the book - it was a thick, BLOCK paragraph, where every sentence ran on without stopping and contained at LEAST 3 "and"'s. (this format, by the way, did not change throughout the book
Feb 11, 2012 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book wayyyy before I should have. I had borrowed it from my local library, after discovering the new-to-me "Young Adult" section of the library.I'm guessing the year was around 1998 because after reading it I was at my grandparents' with my Mom and we had rented the movie Girl, Interrupted on VHS. One of the previews included the trailer for Girl. Which I had NO idea had was turned into a movie (a straight to VHS movie that is). For the longest time I searched and searched but could ...more
Caitlin Constantine
I was reading some blog that was all nostalgia for the 90s and someone mentioned this novel, so I ordered it on PaperbackSwap, then I was feeling sick so I decided to read this because I didn't have to think too hard about it, which was fine because I was jacked up on Sudafed which meant I couldn't think hard even if I wanted to anyway.

Whew! That sentence I just typed? Yeah, that was pretty much how this entire book was written. Imagine reading 250 pages of that. But this is the thing, it actual
I wish I could tell you that I finished this book. I can't even say for sure how far I did make it; but I was 15 or 16 when I attempted and even after all the silly formulaic boy-drama YA books I've also, for whatever reason, tried, this is still the one that insulted me as a teenager the most.

The reason I picked it up at all was because I watched the movie on TV the summer previous and actually really, really enjoyed that, if just for something kinda campy to watch on a 100 degree day. Movie An
Natty Soltesz
Sep 07, 2009 Natty Soltesz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first read "Girl" I was fifteen, gay, closeted, and more than a little sexually repressed. Each month my friend Laurie would lend me the latest issue of "Sassy" - I think she lent me this book, too. I remember finding Andrea's behavior shocking, and so far removed from my own high school experience that I wasn't sure if I believed it.

So it was pretty fun re-reading this book at age thirty. And kind of interesting to note that one of the central relationships in the book - that of Andrea a
Knightpanda Lees
Jan 11, 2013 Knightpanda Lees rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I wanted to like this book, the ideas were solid, the character the less interesting hanger-on, with cool interesting friends. It was like every YA story of it's kind. Which was what I was looking for, a little escapism, a little nostalgia back into Nineties Portland. But the writing, OH, the writing!

I felt I had stumbled into the poor girls diary, and I desperately wanted her to take a English class, BECAUSE, GIRL, RUN-ON SENTENCES ARE EXHAUSTING. And, and, and. It never ended. I knew everythin
Amanda Kennedy
Mar 22, 2010 Amanda Kennedy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read Girl no less than 75 times since the first time I sat down as a high school student and entered the mind of Anrea Marr. Now a 31-year old woman, I still pick up this book on occasion and relive my youth. I have passed this book along to all of my friends and they have all loved it as much as I do, it is easily one of my favorite books...ever. If you are a super fan like me, I suggest you email Blake Nelson and tell him so, and he might just reward you by replying with the never-publi ...more
I think my favorite thing about this story was how not serious it was. There were plenty of serious things that happened, but Andrea, the main character who relates the story's events in a confessional fashion, doesn't dwell on any of them for very long.

Eating disorders, drug abuse, and dubious consent within relationships are all mentioned, briefly discussed, and then forgotten. I typically prefer stories that delve into a little more detail as far as tough subjects are concerned, but I found
Angela Powell
Jan 23, 2016 Angela Powell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites-of-16
I wish I could've read this in the 90's when this was my culture and these characters were my friends and the music scene muddled my real life, ect ect ect. And so on and so forth.
"Girl" is about Andrea who is trucking through highschool torn between the local Portland music scene and her best friend Cybil's up and coming band. She's trying drugs, she's having sex, she's pushing the envelope to see what "scene" she falls into. She's in love with a guy named Todd Sparrow who is a fantastic music
May 02, 2011 MariNaomi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I seriously could not put this down, and there were several moments in the book where I excitedly exclaimed things like, "Wow, that Blake Nelson can really write!" and "Holy crap, Blake Nelson is a genius!" I may not be a young adult (in fact, I'm far from it), but you don't have to be YA to appreciate what this book has to offer.
I read this book in high school and still maintain that it is one of my favorites. Even though by then the book was older, I still related to Andrea and was impressed at how a man got into the mind of a teenage girl trying to fit in and be part of a scene.
I recommed this to any teen or young adult female.
Heather Ormsby
Sep 01, 2007 Heather Ormsby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Grunge, Underground Music scenes, coming of age stories
Shelves: fiction
Thanks to Cheryl and Venessa for recommending this book. I'm maybe a little to "X" generation to completely empathize with this "bottom of the X to Y" generation book but Blake Nelson hit the bullseye in his exploration of the interior mind of a teenaged girl. The narrative was so honest it blew me away.
Oct 03, 2011 Heaether rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I read this book when I was in high school and I have to admit it was the definitive description of my life at the time and being in high school in 90's. I have seen the movie (good) and re-read this book multiple times and it still rings true and fills me with flannel ridden nostalgia.
Jan 11, 2009 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my guidebook to adolescence. I read an excerpt of it in SASSY magazine and then trolled the bookstores for it. This is the one and only time I've ever chased a book down like that. To this day, I send people copies of this book. I just think it rocks.
I haven't shared this book with anyone in a long time. It was my first and favorite book to share in the hallways of school. Must be time to re-read it again. :D Oh and yes BUTT ROCK <3
Jun 13, 2016 Jenni rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading this one in high school and feeling like I was a horrible prude, but I could relate to a lot of the narrator's inner life. I figured her life was a peek inside the Cool Kids Club. So, when I read it in the nineties, it was coolish. I paged through it at a bookstore the other day and nearly threw up in my mouth. It's excellent anthropological research into the narcissism, music, and "me" culture of the time, but really wouldn't do it for me as a (mostly) grown-up. So, I put it ...more
Shahzaib Mazhar
"You were dying from the day you were born"

"Girl" by Blake Nelson is a much better depiction of teenagers than anything I've read by, say, John Green so far.

It depicts the hopelessness, the peer pressure, the failures, the mirage of a beautiful youth, the uncertainty about future and goals, the desperate need to 'fit in', the ups and downs of life, the generation gap between parents and their children and its effects, and the swift changes in life during teen age pretty perfectly ; an average
Jun 07, 2008 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good portrayal of the early 90's scene. MUCH better than the crappy movie. LOL.
The nineties were awesome. Teenagers are hilarious. Henry rules.
May 08, 2008 Anina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
Just very enjoyable.
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What's The Name o...: Searching for a coming-of-age book from the 90s! [s] 3 45 Sep 27, 2011 10:08AM  
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Blake Nelson grew up in Portland, Oregon. He began his career writing short humor pieces for Details Magazine.

His first novel GIRL was originally serialized in SASSY magazine and was made into a film staring Selma Blaire and Portia De Rossi.

His novel PARANOID PARK won the prestigious International Grinzane Literary Award and was made into a film by Gus Van Sant.

His most recent Young Adult novel
More about Blake Nelson...

Other Books in the Series

Girl (3 books)
  • Dream School (Girl, #2)
  • The City Wants You Alone (Girl, #3)

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“But I think Cybil was my biggest fan. She cut out my articles and hung them in her locker and we were always cracking up how if you wrote the simplest, most obvious thing in the world people thought you were a genius.” 10 likes
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