My Life as a Rhombus
  • My Life as a Rhombus
  • My Life as a Rhombus

My Life as a Rhombus

4.5 8
by Varian Johnson
     
 

A 2009 New York Public Library "Stuff for the Teen Age" Selection

Boys + Love = Trouble Right?

Staying on track at school means a boy-free equation for Rhonda Lee, who spends most evenings doing homework and eating Chinese takeout with her dad. While Rhonda needs a scholarship for college, some kids at her private high school, like beautiful

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Overview

A 2009 New York Public Library "Stuff for the Teen Age" Selection

Boys + Love = Trouble Right?

Staying on track at school means a boy-free equation for Rhonda Lee, who spends most evenings doing homework and eating Chinese takeout with her dad. While Rhonda needs a scholarship for college, some kids at her private high school, like beautiful Sarah Gamble, seem to coast along on popularity and their parents' money.

When forced to tutor Sarah in trigonometry, Rhonda recognizes all too well the symptoms-queasiness, puking, exhaustion-that Sarah is trying to mask. On a sudden impulse, Rhonda shares her past with Sarah. Exchanging their secrets adds up to more truths than either girl would have dreamed.

"Without a bit of preaching, [this is] a story of two teenage girls who are faced with the consequences of unplanned pregnancies. [Readers] will love the emotional peaks and valleys of the tale." -Ellen Wittlinger, author of Hard Love

"A sensitive and powerful friendship story. Realistic and heartfelt." -Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of Tantalize

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
AGERANGE: Ages 15 to 18.

When Rhonda, a senior, begins tutoring Sarah, a popular junior, she isn’t happy with the arrangement. Rhonda prefers to tutor younger students, and wants nothing to do with her peers, especially from the popular group. Without really knowing anything about Sarah, Rhonda decides she doesn’t like her. When Rhonda discovers that Sarah is pregnant, and has yet to tell anyone, she decides to befriend Sarah. After all, Sarah could use someone with a little empathy and compassion, and since Rhonda was in Sarah’s shoes a few years ago, she can relate. Sarah’s pregnancy forces Rhonda to deal with her own feelings toward what she went through. In the three years since her abortion, Rhonda has thrown herself into her schoolwork, figuring if she keeps her head down and gets good grades, she’ll keep out of trouble. A math whiz, Rhonda creates a set of rules and theorems to govern the rest of high school. When Sarah makes a difficult decision about her pregnancy, Rhonda can no longer turn her back on her past. She struggles to deal with what happened and to mend all of the relationships that have suffered. This loaded topic will naturally lend itself to intense discussions about the characters’ actions. The variety of reactions, choices, and feelings are realistic and nuanced. The characters are sometimes frustrating and feel one-dimensional, but as the story unfolds, the reasons behind their actions become clearer. Though Rhonda prefers numbers to words, it is her understanding that she needs to start talking and coping with her past that propels her to move forward and finally start to live again. Reviewer: Amanda MacGregor
March 2008 (Vol. 42, No.2)

VOYA
AGERANGE: Ages 15 to Adult.

Rhonda is a senior at Piedmont Academy where money defines status. Focused on getting an engineering scholarship to Georgia Tech, Rhonda has created her own rigid behavior rules that distance her from the popular clique. She balks at tutoring cheerleader Sarah Gamble in math but concludes that Sarah's mother, a Supreme Court judge and Georgia Tech grad, could provide a powerful scholarship recommendation. While tutoring, Rhonda discovers that Sarah is pregnant and Rhonda discloses her own pregnancy at fifteen. Forced by her father to have an abortion, Rhonda is now estranged from him and afraid of any romantic connection with the opposite sex. The girls eventually travel to Atlanta for Sarah's abortion, but Sarah backs out. Her pregnancy opens the door for Rhonda to confront her father, her former boyfriend, and her emotions and sexuality, now aroused by Sarah's brother David. Although the main protagonists are black, their friends and problems are multiracial. The f-bomb and scenes of teen drinking pepper the dialogue and action. Rhonda and Sarah come alive but fall short of grabbing any heartstrings. The use of mathematical terms as chapter titles is clever and humor lightens the serious issue of teen pregnancy; however, Johnson's message is crystal-clear. Rhonda's abortion left her with serious emotional scars while Sarah's decision to keep her baby gives her the potential for future happiness. Although not an essential purchase, this novel will help reinforce the importance of responsible sex and underscore the ramifications of abortion. Reviewer: Barbara Johnson
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738711607
Publisher:
Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Publication date:
01/01/2008
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
610L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

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