Girls Like Me by Lola Stvil
Summary: Fifteen-year-old Shay Summers is trying to cope with the death of her father, being overweight, and threats from a girl bully in school. When she falls in love with Blake, a mysterious boy online, insecure Shay doesn’t want to tell him who she is. But with the help of her two best friends, as well as an assist by Kermit and Miss Piggy, ultimately Shay and Blake’s love prevails.
Told through poems, Shay shares her story. Her father has recently passed away and she doesn’t like her stepmother. She feels that her stepmom is always trying to get her to lose weight and is judging her when she doesn’t eat healthy.
Shay is bullied in school, mainly by Kelly Conway who fit the mean girl stereotype 100%. She does have two best friends, Dash & Boots. The trio give each other support in the trials of getting through high school and with their own personal life issues. I like Shay, but I wanted to see more of Dash and Boots. Their characters and their stories shined in the story.
Shay ends up going online and flirting with an unknown boy from her school. She continually refuses to meet with him because she’s ashamed of her size and when she finds out who he really is, she runs. He realizes who she really is and acknowledges her in school and they start becoming a couple. She is bothered by the talk in the school about them, but he doesn’t care and doesn’t validate her feelings for why she’s so upset. This bothered me. He was never the end of bullying like she was. His advice to simply ignore the whispers and stares isn’t good at all. In my opinion, he should have understood where she was coming from and given her feelings more validation. I think this could have been done if the novel was written in prose and not in verse. It seems a lot is left out in this format, which is a shame because I love novels in verse.
When a website about her is created, she breaks up with him and retreats once more. She attends a popular Halloween party for a specific reason (I can’t say what it is because it spoils part of the plot). She ends up back together with the boy and stands up to the mean girl at last.
Though this was a good book, I wanted to love it and I didn’t. The author tackled her grief very well, but it bothered me that it took a cute boy for Shay to begin to come out of her shell. I wanted her to realize it for herself and with her friends. The romance was cute and I was happy they were together at the end, I just wanted more from him and more from her.