Tuesday, November 11, 2008
My Life As A Rhombus
Johnson, Varian. 2008. My Life As A Rhombus.
Rhonda the Rhombus. Perhaps not the most-appealing nickname a girl can have. But...Rhonda makes for quite a good heroine as one of the stars in Varian Johnson's My Life As A Rhombus.
Rhonda Lee is great at math. She excels so much that she tutors students of all ages at West Columbia Community Center. Which is how our heroine comes to meet Sarah Gamble. Sarah is one of the beautiful, popular people. Sarah needs help...and she needs it quickly if she's going to pull her grades up. But what starts as a rather reluctant relationship...becomes much much more through the course of the novel. As these two unlikely teens find they have much in common.
Their common bond? Unplanned pregnancies. Rhonda's is in the past--two years previous--and Sarah's is in the present. Sarah's secret is revealed to Rhonda alone. And the two come to discuss life and all its hardships in detail as Sarah puzzles out what to do with her life, her body. Rhonda's pregnancy ended in abortion--it's a choice that was out of her hands. Rhonda's father controlled the situation then, and this has put some strain into the relationship. It's not that Rhonda wanted to have her baby--not really. But she wanted to be the one to think it through, the one to decide. She wanted the choice to be hers. And the whole situation--sex, pregnancy, abortion--still haunts her in many, many ways. Her past keeps her from living in the present.
Sarah's friendship--and Sarah's brother, David--offer Rhonda a unique opportunity. A chance to offer comfort and support, yes, but a chance to heal as well. A chance to learn that your life need not be defined by past mistakes and regrets. A chance to accept life in all its fullness.
I enjoyed this one. I liked the transformation and development of the relationships between Rhonda and Sarah and Rhonda and David. For that matter, I liked the characterizations in general.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews