Title: Me, Just Different (The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt #1)
Author: Stephanie Morrill
Welcome to the world of Skylar Hoyt, a high school senior whose exotic Hawaiian looks have propelled her to the height of the “in” crowd, but who’s no longer sure that’s where she really fits. New friends, old friends, a reluctant romance, and a family crisis swirl around Skylar as she tries to keep it together and figure out who she really wants to be.
I first heard of this book through the Go Teen Writers blog , where Stephanie Morrill is a co-blogger. I didn’t plan on reading it, mainly because I don’t usually go for contemporary stories. But when I heard through the blog that it’s being offered as a free ebook, I figured, what the heck, I’d try it.
Me, Just Different turned out to be nothing like I expected – in a good way.
In the beginning, I didn’t really like Skylar. She was the drinking-smoking-and-partying “popular” kind of girl that I don’t like, in real life or books. But as the story went on and I found out how messed up her family was, I felt really, really bad for her. And I supported her desire to hold her family together and be a better person.
Connor I really liked. He occasionally said the wrong thing, but even when he did, he was just so cute doing it. Of course, I’m saying that as an outside observer. I can see how Skylar frequently ended up getting mad at him.
This book will enter the reading halls of fame as one of three that ever made me cry. It was just so heartwrenchingly sad! Skylar had some trauma to live down, her father was always at work, her mother was distant, her sister had some problems to deal with, her best friend was trying to shove her out of the social circle, and she had a boyfriend that she felt obligated to date. And for most of it, there was absolutely nothing she could do about it.
I’d expected a mainly romance plot, with Skylar trying to find the right boy and discovering where she fits in. But it was so much more than that. In fact, the romance and friends plot took backseat to Skylar’s family troubles. And that was just fine with me.
Since Me, Just Different was a Christian novel, I expected a whole lot of churchgoing and Skylar getting preached at. But through the whole book, Skylar went to youth group once, and there was no pastor anywhere. I think religion is going to play more in the subsequent books, but it wasn’t a huge factor in this one.
I’m honestly not sure if I’m going to read the second book in the Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series, Out with the In Crowd. It’s not because I didn’t like this book, because I did. But I honestly think Me, Just Different wrapped itself up quite nicely, to the point where I think a second book would be overkill.