Be the Girl was essentially a one sit read for me (with the pesky appointment rudely interrupting my reading time). If you like YA I think you’re really going to dig this book.
It’s not easy starting over in life, it’s even harder when you’re a teenager because you leave so much behind. Aria and her mother are going to be living with her great uncle Merv, and while he seems like a curmudgeon, he’s really not all that bad. But this is a fresh start for Aria, and she’s even making friends. Her new neighbors are great, they have an autistic daughter named Cassie who brings smiles whenever she visits. Her older brother Emmett is very easy on the eyes, too bad for Aria that he has a girlfriend, Holly, who seems almost too good to be true.
We’re not sure why Aria and her mother moved across the country to start fresh, but we’re given small glimpses here and there, and I liked Tucker taking that approach to the book. Aria seemed like a genuinely good person. She was good to Cassie and even good to her friend Jen who wore these crazy t-shirts.
But then Aria starts to have some trouble with Holly, especially after she overhears a conversation in the bathroom. That’s when the bullying starts, and if it wasn’t for Emmett, things could have gotten wildly out of hand more than once. As Aria starts to break out of her shell, she starts to reveal bits and pieces of her past to Emmett, but it might be too much for everyone to handle.
This was such a fun yet hard YA book to read. I appreciate that Tucker not only tackled autism in such a fantastic character as Cassie, but that she tackled bullying. There is so much bullying in today’s society and as a teen, it can seem like such a hopeless situation. Be the Girl has a great cast of characters and a wonderful storyline. A must read for all ages.