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Just Another Girl [Paperback]

By Melody Carlson (Author)
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Item Number 247545  
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Item description for Just Another Girl by Melody Carlson...

Sixteen-year-old Aster, caught between a self-absorbed older sister and a mentally-disabled younger one, yearns for a normal life and, with her first boyfriend's encouragement and trust in God, she begins to make things better. Original.

Publishers Description
Aster Flynn is stuck. She has to spend all of her "free" time with her younger sister, Lily, who, though fifteen, is mentally handicapped. At age seventeen, Aster should be hanging out with friends, dating boys, and working at a fun job. But her dad's MIA, her mom is always at work, and her older sister Rose is too self-centered to give her any help. It's not that Aster doesn't love Lily--it's just that for once she'd like to be able to be a normal teenager.
So when a cute popular guy seems to take an interest in her, Aster hatches a plan. Somehow she has to get her workaholic mom and deadbeat dad to be the parents Lily needs so that Aster can have a life of her own. But can she ever get her parents to start acting like adults? Is this new guy worth the trouble? And, most importantly, will Lily get hurt in the process?
With its real-life characters and struggles, "Just Another Girl" will immediately draw teen girls in. Author Melody Carlson knows how to write to girls just where they are.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Just Another Girl by Melody Carlson has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Romantic Times - 01/01/2009 page 62

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Revell
Pages   221
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.04" Width: 6.38" Height: 0.58"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2009
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
Age  12-14
Edition  Reprinted  
ISBN  080073257X  
ISBN13  9780800732578  

Availability  0 units.

More About Melody Carlson

Melody A Carlson I started writing "professionally" about twenty years ago. I quickly learned that I'm a fast writer and, as a result, I've published more than 200 books--with more than 6 million books sold. And it stuns me to write out those numbers today. How did that happen? I've been told I'm in the top twenty "most prolific authors" of all time. Although I'm not certain this is true, it does make me wonder--and I wonder how other authors (in previous generations) managed to write so many books without the use of a computer. Last year I won a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times. But that doesn't mean I'm ready to retire. I have lots more books coming out and new ideas popping into my head all the time. I write from a studio right next to the house I share with my husband in Oregon. My dog Audrey goes to work with me every morning. I have to's a pretty good life...and I am grateful to God for every bit of it.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Family Life > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > Religions > Fiction > General
3Books > Subjects > Children > Religions > General
4Books > Subjects > Teens
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Teen

Christian Product Categories
Books > Youth > Youth Interests > Science, Faith & Evolution

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Reviews - What do customers think about Just Another Girl?

Stuck in the middle? Aster finds her way.  Mar 22, 2010
Ever feel like your life is not your own? Like, your parents are in charge or your siblings get all the attention? Well, that's exactly what Aster Flynn goes through in Melody Carlson's "Just Another Girl."

Our story starts with 16-year-old Aster, who cares for her 15 year old handicapped sister, Lily. From morning until night, Aster cares for and supports Lily in a way that no one else in the family can. Her older sister Rose doesn't want to spend time with these two, her mom hides away by being a workaholic, and her dad checked out years ago.

It's not until Owen (read: cute guy from school) notices her, that Aster is ready to take a stand for her own independence. She wants to be like everyone else her age and go on dates or hang out at the mall. With Lily in tow, that's not really happening.
When the date is wonderful, but the consequences at home are not, Aster is more determined than ever to assert her need for independence. She needs a break from Lily because the idea of the four Flynn women living together into their old age does NOT appeal to Aster.

Carlson takes an honest look at how siblings can get stuck with more responsibility than is fair. Aster is creative and smart about how she asserts herself, and she eventually talks to each parent and even forgives them for leaving her to take care of her sister.
When we start "Just Another Girl," Aster is stuck in the middle, like being dealt a bad hand with which you can't do anything. Carlson weaves a tale that every teen should read, especially when trying to seek more independence. Aster is a strong and believable role model, and in the end, she is in the middle with a strong belief that doesn't waver.
Great story and very accurately portrayed.  Oct 29, 2009
I absolutely loved this story! It's going down in history as my favorite Melody Carlson book ever. I'll tell you why. Because it is so realistic and believable. I have worked for the past eight years with people who have developmental disabilities and I have clients of various ages and levels of disability. I have never read a book before that so accurately demonstrated the challenges faced by family members who are dealing with a teenager who is mentally much younger than her actual age.

The author blew me away with the accuracy because the details that are so true-to-life. She described a number of female clients that I work with. I was very impressed with how the author didn't try to be politically correct, but showed exactly how real people feel at times when dealing with such challenging behavior and the often overwhelming responsibility for another person. The author also showed the family's dysfunction well. The spiritual thread in the story was tight and fit the setting, but did not overwhelm the plot.

I can't say enough good things about this story. Wait, I think I already said this. Well, it's so true I'm saying it again. I have read books before that slip in characters with disabilities but they are often so stereotyped that it annoys me. That is not the case with this novel. I'd recommend this book to not only teens but also adults and family members who simply need encouragement. There are no easy solutions here, but there are themes that will edify readers and help them to see that they aren't alone in their struggles.

I also loved how the author showed that there is often help for families that they may not be aware of. These services will help people better take care of their family member. Maybe one of the reasons I also adored this story was because like Aster, I was that teenager, only I was responsible for taking care of my mother who had MS and was bedridden. Like Aster, I felt like I had no life for a number of years. It's tough being responsible for so much at such a young age. It matures you quickly when you aren't able to be a typical teen. Anyway, this book is making my favorites of 2009 list. I'm so glad I had a chance to review it!
An honest look at a girl with too much responsibility  Jul 17, 2009
Aster Flynn's life is not her own. She is responsible for caring for her fifteen-year-old handicapped sister, Lily. From morning till night, Lily and Aster are together, and Aster is getting burned out. When a cute boy asks Aster out, she does all she can to make the date happen. But without Aster to take care of Lily, Aster's mom freaks. Will Aster ever get a life of her own?

This book really took an honest look at how kids can get stuck with more responsibility than they should have. Teenage Aster shouldn't have to take care of her sister in such a way, but because her parents are divorced, and because her mother sees an easy way out, Aster gets taken advantage of. Aster is creative and smart about how she fights for independence and to get her parents to do their share. She loves her sister Lily so much, but I thought it was really neat how Aster realized she was even enabling Lily to remain dependent on her help. Melody Carson has a knack for creating real life between the pages of a book. Just Another Girl is a gripping story of a young woman's search for a way to be herself. I highly recommend it.
Just Another Girl  Jul 7, 2009
Aster Flynn is pretty much a modern day Cinderella except without the evil step-mom and stepsisters. Instead she has Rose, the older sister who only cares about herself, her mom, who is mostly absent, and Lily, her mentally challenged younger sister.

Aster is basically Lily's caregiver. Every day she helps her get dressed, drops her off at the rec center, picks her up later, and then fixes dinner and helps her get ready for bed. With all this on her plate Aster has no time for a life of her own.

Aster never really minded this until she met Owen, the popular, handsome guy from school who seems to be showing an interest in her. The only problem is, with Lily around, there is no time for a date of any kind and nobody else is willing to take care of her.

Finally, Aster manages to persuade a friend to babysit while she goes out with Owen but Lily proves to be too much for anyone but Aster to handle. When Aster arrives home after her date she finds that things are chaos. The next morning when Aster wakes up her mom has already left, without a word about the night before.

As Aster tries to find her independence Lily gets worse. Aster finally decides to take control and make her mom take some of the responsibility for Lily so that Aster can have more time with Owen. But one thing is niggling at the back of Aster's mind. Is Owen really the person she wants to be spending her time with?

Just Another Girl was a good book. Not exceptional, not horrible. The story was actually great but most of the characters seemed a little underdeveloped. I would probably recommend this book as a quick, cute read. It was very insightful and shows a realistic life of someone dealing with a mentally challenged child but also with a happy ending. As a warning, this story is also a little bit religious so if that is something that doesn't appeal to you, this is not the book for you.
Just another girl  Jul 1, 2009
This book is great! My friend heard the author speak and recommended it...she was right!

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