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This Girl Is Different

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  921 ratings  ·  234 reviews
What happens when a girl, homeschooled by her counterculture mother, decides to spend her senior year in public school? First friendship, first love--and first encounters with the complexities of authority and responsibility.
Evie is different. Not just her upbringing--though that's certainly been unusual--but also her mindset. She's smart, independent, confident, opinionat
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Peachtree Publishers
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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  921 ratings  ·  234 reviews

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Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
I finished reading this book over a month ago, and I'm still at a loss on how to review it. I had a great time reading it, I really wanted to know how it ends, but I had nothing important to say about it afterwards. So instead of the usual review, I’ll just try to write down a few things that might help you decide whether you want to read it or not:

• This Girl Is Different made me smile a lot. It wasn’t laugh out loud funny, but it was cute and endearing. It grabbed my attention on the first pag
Jul 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
Initial Final Page Thoughts.
So that’s what Mean Girls would have been like were it not for Ms Fey.

High Points.
A heroine who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. Homeschooling (a concept that, I guess, does exist in the UK but I’ve never met anyone who has been!) The environment. Diversity. Teenage rebellion, a particular weakness of mine. Really intriguing issues brought up that I haven’t read about in a YA book. The quotes at the beginning of the chapters- they were lovely and I wrote a few down i
Oct 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya-na
The title should have tipped me off that this book was not for me, but it didn't because I didn't know the context in which it would pertain to the story. As it turns out it meant that I would absolutely abhor the main character, Evie, and everything she does. I have never before so actively pulled for a character to fail.

One of my biggest peeves in life is someone who has to perpetually point out how different they are and every time she said it to herself I wanted to throw the book. She gets e
Jan 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
This Girl Is Different was a breath of fresh air, as much as it irritated the crap out of me.

Having been homeschooled for years, Evie's ready to go to school for real. Along the way she befriends a girl (Jacinda) and a boy (Rajas). School turns out to be not so cool afterall. Evie's used to eating selfmade organic foods & drinks, milking cows, feeding the (piranha) chickens, drawing snakes, living in a geodesic dome and calling her mother "Martha", it's quite a shock to discover teachers being r
Tasos Anastasopoulos
Jul 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
First of all i would like to thank Netgalley for giving me the chance to have access and finally to read that book, i hope that my review can be a bit helpful so i can give back at least part of what i have received...

It is obvious that not only "this girl is different" but the whole book itself... Evie is a teenage girl that was raised all those years just by her mother (who never calls her mom) Martha, she lives in "the Dome" a very special house that they have built themselves (along with her
Sep 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Well, this is absolutely a unique book with a take on homeschooling that doesn't veer into the weird religious road. So that was nice. But THIS GIRL IS DIFFERENT solidified my notion that I just don't like hippies. At all. Martha, Eve's mother, I wanted to beat her to death with her own Birkenstocks. I'm all for people wanting to have a self-sustaining lifestyle and all of that. I think that's fantastic. But those that don't follow it through, complain about "The Man" holding them down and then ...more

I liked the book, don't get me wrong, but having a title like This Girl Is Different I was expecting something different, indeed. What I found was other high school story, a bit original in the inception, but same-same in the end... Not disappointing, but not especially surprising either.

I have no experience with homeschooling since that's not possible in Spain, so I'm not entering in details about how well-educated Evie was or her personality. For me as a layperson in these matters it was ju
Lillian Hong
Jun 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
A hippie Mary Sue self appoints herself as the role of Justice in a nearby high school and fucks all shit up. She is a hypocrite, a phony, and has the biggest pride you'll ever see. She also never fails to remind you that she's different and special (she says the title of the book many, many times). Since she's a Mary Sue, everything works out well in the end despite the fact that she does nothing but talk the talk and run from the walk. Because she's a Mary Sue. Did I mention she's a Mary Sue? ...more
Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
At first I thought the story is shallow because of the cover, but I actually learned a lot from this book! This novel tackles a lot of issues that happens in reality. It reminds the readers not to abuse power, not to judge people, to stand up for what you believe in, and to always be cautious of what you say because telling the truth can sometimes hurt even if your intention is good.
May 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: young adult to adult readers
Recommended to Gmr by: Peachtree Publishers
So, where to begin. When I first saw this book listed in Peachtree Publishing's spring catalog, it gave me pause. Why? Well, the cover first and foremost. You have to admit that's a pretty eye catching piece of artwork there and I just love how "different" is turned upside down....kind of like Evie's world in the coming days. Second giver of pause, the story synopsis. It sounded just "different" enough to be interesting, but what I got once I started on my reading adventure....was a whole lot mo ...more
Amy (Turn the Page)
Jul 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-library
This is a light, refresh­ing story, one I enjoyed read­ing, though parts did get a bit too melo­dra­matic towards the end.

Evie was a pro­tag­o­nist I ulti­mately liked, though my pos­i­tive feel­ings towards her did lessen as the story pro­gressed. She is con­fi­dent, cheer­ful, stands up for her­self and has a strong moral com­pass, but there were times when she came across as judg­men­tal and con­de­scend­ing (in regards to her, and her mother’s, way of life, how she views the rest of the stu­
Feb 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
Summary from GoodReads
This girl is different… That’s what Evie has always told herself—and it’s true. Home-schooled by her counter culture mom, she’s decided to see what high school is like for the first time—for her senior year. And what a year it is.

As it turns out, it’s not just Evie who’s Different. Lots of people are. Many of her assumptions about others are turned on their heads as she makes friends with kids her own age for the first time, discovers what’s good and what’s bad about high
Ellen Isabella
Jul 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ellen by: Tasos Anastasopoulos

Evie spends most of her education life being a homeschooled student. Now on her senior year, she decides to enter the public school to experience how it is being in a school. There she finds some facts about the injustice that happens in the school. She tries to stand on her own idealism, to fight for the justice and help others. But things don’t just go as what she has planned, she has to face some difficulty and accept that everything can be different in real life.

Jackie Marrs
Jun 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This Girl is Different by J.J. Johnson was indeed a different young adult book compared to others that I have been reading. The main character, Evie, has been raised by her single mom in the woods of northern New York, where her mom has been homeschooling her all of her life. For her senior year, Evie convinces her mom to let her go to high school. She petitions her mom to let her do this on the basis that it will be a social experiment. Evie who has grown accustomed to being outspoken and for s ...more
Apr 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Evensong Sparkling Morningdew (she prefers to be called Evie, if you know what I mean,) has been homeschooled her whole life, and with senior year coming around the corner, she decides to spend her last year at high school, where she'll do a little bit of pop culture research (and maybe experience some "normal girl" tendencies, like attendance and mean girls and falling in love.) The thing is, when Evie gets there, things aren't as great as they're
Nakesha Brown
Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book is like watching a feel good movie. It starts good, the drama builds, you question 'how is she going to fix this' then it all comes together nicely in the end.

It was refreshing to have such a thoughtful, intelligent girl as the man character. Evie is awesome! Her vocabulary, her ideas, her naïveté. It's all perfect and very believable. Martha, her mom is the coolest. Although, I would have liked to have her explain why she called her Martha instead of mom. I love the way she m
Jan 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011, netgalley
*3.5: Recommended*
This Girl is Different is, hence the title, so different than most YA books published today. I can't just point a finger at a certain part and say, "This is what made it so unique," because there were a lot of aspects and events and types of people that made it that way. There was Evie: who spoke her mind, her mother Martha: a new age Hippie, the... well, I don't want to give anything away. So, as to not ruin your reading experience, I'll just tell you that the whole environmen
Keri Rico
Feb 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: publisher-copy
Eccentric, natural, different. The reader follows the journey of one homeschooler's chance to live out the complexities of public high school. From the excitement on the first day to the horrors that follow, the author gives you more than a taste of what could happen when a student shows her colors.

All Evie wants is the experience. Her mother wishes for a spy. Evie becomes an advocate of student rights, but falters when her plan backfires. There are two themes that contrast each other in this no
Michelle. D.
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Sooooo.... This book was highly entertaining for a couple of reasons.
First, Rajas. He is hot(well seems hot anyway). He has an Wesome personality and a great sense of humour. Though the labels thing is kind of a downside, he gets over it(or does he lol).
Second of all, I love all the quotes in the book along with the quote arguments from Evie(love her name!). Brookner was always a creep for me and I was surprised that he liked her and not her cause here were all these signs that led me to believe
Kaethe Douglas
Evie has been homeschooled her entire life, but just once she wants to try out public school, before going off to college. A big fan of John Hughs' work, she has ideas about school that are all about to change.

I don't know why I didn't get to this sooner. I enjoyed the mix of idealist and realist that is Evie, I loved that she was capable of liking different types of girls, her feminism, and how her ideals are brought up against reality. The romance plot never relies on stupid contrivances to ke
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book as part of the United Methodist Women's selected books in their reading challenge program, and that is not to imply that there is anything "religious" in this novel, because there isn't. It was listed under the "Youth/Young adult" category. Now, with all that said, I found the book interesting with a good message (which is why I believe it was included in the UMW reading challenge).
The story takes place in a high school during the senior year of the three main characters. It ke
Apr 26, 2011 added it
Shelves: young-adult
This good, first, solidly teen novel lost me a bit in the last 20 pages (I didn't find the rally finale believable), but there's A LOT to recommend it. Smart, feisty, feminist, political, home-schooled heroine (Evie) going to public high school for her senior year, her savvy counter-culture mom, Martha; a very hot boy, plus everything you've always loved to hate about high school, which activist Evie tilts against to good, hilarious, and near disastrous effect. Will look for what's next from thi ...more
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is my 500th book I've read within five year, and I think it was the great book to mark this milestone. Evie was a great character: unique, active, humorous. Although i think Evie can do better than Rajas, I'm glad she got her own happy ending. High school can be a cruel place...even crueler for those who don't have a place within the place..
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was a very fast read... but it doesn't mean it was a good one.

If this book was actually supposed to be a Mean Girls re-telling, then I guess it deserves some credit, but personally I just see it as kind of a """"rip-off"""".
So many doors were opened to SO many interesting, important conversation topics, but those were either barely touched upon or not at all. I expected a lot more from the premise.
I didn't like the characters and didn't feel any sort of connection, I didn't like the relati
Apr 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This review was originally posted to my blog: Evie@Bookish

This girl is Different is a debut YA novel by JJ Johnson. I got it in the mail just yesterday and was delighted with the way it looked. The cover art is beautiful, well-thought-out and it relates to the story inside in many ways. The texture of the dust cover and the way the pages are numbered are very unique and truly different from other YA books I've read so far.

The heroin of this story, seventeen-year-old Evie, is anything but ordina
Mar 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
**4.5 stars**

Originally published:

**This Review is based on an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy). The final text may be different!**

This is such a difficult book to review! I'm sitting here and thinking, because this is one of those books. The ones with profound meaning to them, which are really powerful and are so different (like the title!) and unique from books found today. It really looks at the discrimination and stereotypes of high schools today. We can se
Richie Partington
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
8 February 2011 THIS GIRL IS DIFFERENT by JJ Johnson, Peachtree, April 2011, 320p., ISBN: 978-1-56145-578-2

"The last few days have been torture. In the movies, everyone hates high school, and I'm starting to comprehend why. It has nothing to do with pedagogy or educational philosophy. It's the humans."

Though she does her best to keep it from her peers, 17 year-old Evie's full name is Evensong Sparkling Morningdew. She lives in the woods with her mother, Martha, in a geodesic dome home that the
Andrea at Reading Lark
Review Posted on Reading Lark 3/11/11:

This book truly is about a girl that is different. So many young adult novels these days feature the damsel in distress and mean girl types as their main characters, but very rarely does a character like Evie get a chance to dominate the story. I found this to be a refreshing change. Evie is a strong, intelligent, independent teen who follows what she knows to be right in spite of what others may feel about it.

Evie be
Jun 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, 2015
Imagine a manic pixie dream girl - she's not like other girls, she's not obsessed with being pretty or skinny or wearing makeup or nice clothes, but that's okay because she's just naturally very attractive anyway. Imagine that she has come to decide throughout her life that there are two types of girls: girly girls (bad), and smart girls Who Care About Things (good). The two types are mutually exclusive. Now imagine that she writes a book, in first person, of her extremely pretentious thoughts, ...more
Mar 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blue-covers
This Girl Is Different is not for the weak-minded. A sharp contrast from books like The Lipstick Laws and Audrey, Wait!, but not quite as dark and troubled as Ballads Of Suburbia. This Girl Is Different is a quite precocious book that will surely inspire readers to be more aware of social justice, freedom of speech, and bullying.

Not to mention all the interesting quotes that open each chapter spurred me on to see what happens next as Evie critically examines the school system and how it contrast
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J.J. Johnson is a youth counselor turned young adult novelist. She grew up (with an 80s perm) in a very small town in central New York. She then went to Binghamton University, where she discovered writing --and dancing, and marching, and sitting-in-- for social justice. She graduated with a history degree in 1996.

In 2001, J.J. earned a Master of Education from Harvard University, concentrating on

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