Sunday, October 10, 2010

Review: Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley

From Inside Jacket: Everybody thinks Syrah is the golden girl. After all, her father is Ethan Cheng, billionaire, and she has everything any kid could possibly desire: a waterfront mansion, jet plane, and custom-designed snowboards. But most of what glitters in her life is fool's gold. Her half-siblings hate her, her best friend's girlfriend is ruining their friendship, and her own so-called boyfriend is only after her for her father's name. When her broken heart results in a snowboarding accident that exiles her from the mountains - the one place where she feels free and accepted for who she is, not what she has - can Syrah rehab both her busted-up knee and her bruised heart?

My Rating: 5 hearts  

Thoughts on the Novel: Out of all the novels I’ve read by Justina Chen Headley, Girl Overboard is by far my favourite. Headley always does a superb job with character development and Syrah’s evolution was no different. Initially, Syrah wants to just be seen as “Syrah” and not “Syrah Cheng” but by the end of the novel, Syrah has learned to embrace her last name and everything associated with being a Cheng while still being true to her own dreams.

Relationships were such a crucial element in Girl Overboard and this book had it all: a new friendship, an old friendship deteriorating but then being renewed, growing closer to family members, and maintaining the status quo. Each of them were portrayed so realistically and affected Syrah in their own way, which made the novel very emotional for me especially at the end. In fact, I did get teary!

The one complaint I have against Girl Overboard was that there was such a big mystery at the beginning of the book about the circumstances around Syrah’s snowboarding accident and the truth was a little anticlimactic. Still, the novel is amazing and has some wonderful messages that can be gleaned from it.

Girl Overboard was published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in January 2008.

Comments About the Cover: The blue, pink and white really complement each other and actually make me wish it was winter just so I’d get to feel that lovely snow. I also really like how the font stands out and how the word Overboard sort of looks like a snowboard.     

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