March 31, 2016

Review: Any Other Girl by Rebecca Phillips

Book and ARC reviews are posted under this feature!

Any Other GirlAny Other Girl by Rebecca Phillips

*Digital ARC was received from Kensington Publishing through Netgalley*

Genre: YA (Contemporary)
Pub. Date: January 26, 2016

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I read this sometime back in January and honestly it took me almost two weeks to finish it because partly I was so busy that I kept putting it off. And partly, maybe it’s because I didn’t really find any part of the book that made me want to sit down for hours, ignoring the world and keep reading non-stop till the last page.

Any Other Girl told a story of a girl who’s raised in a family a little different than others. It’s not that Kat doesn’t have such happy family because she did; it’s just that instead of having mom and dad, Kat was gifted with two dads and that’s okay for her. More than okay actually because her dads were both amazing, caring, and clearly dream parents. What’s not okay was how some people tended to judge her as a maladjusted girl just because Kat loved to play soccer and happened to be raised by men. This was a quite fresh theme for me and I was eager to find out how the issue would be resolved. Unfortunately this part that I thought was the main issue of the book was apparently not the main issue. People’s judgment of gay parents was apparently just a layer of background story of Kat’s personality while the rest of the story would mostly focused on Kat’s personal problem with her best friends and the boys.

I tried to understand where Kat’s coming from, why she’s so flirty and doesn’t even think the side-effect of her acts, and maybe at some point I think I did get it. I even felt sorry for her especially during that apology-scene with her bestfriend. But it’s her ignorant that I couldn’t quite tolerate. Kat did realize that she’s flirty, or at least that’s what I got from her narration, yet just because she didn’t have any hidden meaning besides casual flirts, she thought it was okay to do so to any boys―bestfriend’s boyfriend no exception. It’s a little selfish for her I think to ask people to understand her actions all the time. Also, when there’s an explanation telling the reason Kat loved to flirt and being the center of attention among the crowd was because she wanted to show that she was also like any other girl who’s raised in general family. I sensed a little of unfairness judgment here for teen girls. Does every girl love to flirt that much that you should be all flirty and attention-seeker to be considered as a ‘normal’ girl? I really don’t think so. But it might just be my opinion or I might misinterpret what the author actually meant so feel free to correct me.

I actually did enjoy some parts of the story. Like how I loved the side of Kat who could ask for an apology so sincerely, like how she apologized not because she wished for the forgiveness, it’s because she wanted the peace of letting the other knows that they could label her anything when she’s really not and that’s okay because she somehow was the one who plays the wrong move at first. I loved her friendship with her best friend slash cousin. I loved how sweet the romance scene could be. Also I loved how Rebecca summed up the story in the end that life goes changing every minute and that’s fine because after all what’s not? That you might got into a fight with your best friend and it changes your friendship that it’s impossible to go back to the ‘before’ state but at least you go forward to the ‘after’ state with new perspectives, new level of maturity, and new ways to solve any upcoming bumps together. It’s just too unfortunate that the story was actually very simple, with an even simpler ending and issues-solving, yet it’s all those dramas that stretched the story out to be that long.

The plot of the story might not what I would remember for a long time but the moral lessons I got from this book would definitely be something that I would keep in mind. There’s these words Rebecca wrote about family that was so beautifully true that I really loved.
‘Like any other family, we fought and scratched and drew blood and then kept on loving each other in spite of it all. The bonds we shared were strong yet elastic, like ligaments connecting bone―easy to injure and difficult to heal, but ultimately resilient.’
This is one of those books that you might enjoy to read in a lazy Sunday afternoon when you don’t feel like heavy-thinking or getting your emotion so worked up. It’s not really a bad book because Rebecca’s writing is good and even a bit poetic. But considering the whole factors, I’ll sum it up to an okay.


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