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Stalker Girl

Stalker Girl

3.7 10
by Rosemary Graham

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Carly never meant to become a stalker. She just wanted to find out who Brian started dating after he dumped her. But a little harmless online research turns into a quick glance, and that turns into an afternoon of watching. Soon Carly is putting all of her energy into following Brian’s new girlfriend—all of the sadness she feels about her mom’s


Carly never meant to become a stalker. She just wanted to find out who Brian started dating after he dumped her. But a little harmless online research turns into a quick glance, and that turns into an afternoon of watching. Soon Carly is putting all of her energy into following Brian’s new girlfriend—all of the sadness she feels about her mom’s recent breakup, all of the anger she feels over being pushed aside by her dad while he prepares for his new wife’s new baby. When Carly’s stalking is discovered in the worst possible way by the worst possible person, she is forced to acknowledge her problem and the underlying issues that led to it.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As discomforting as waiting for a character in a horror film to finally get axed, Graham’s novel follows high school senior Carly, as her seemingly innocent desire to see her ex’s new girlfriend, Taylor, in person turns into a day spent trailing her every move. Donning different hats and faking cellphone calls whenever Taylor glances her way, Carly follows Taylor all over Manhattan. The tension of this first section all but disappears during a long flashback to Carly’s romantic summer with Brian, which, along with details about her family life, gives readers subtle insights into her behavior, without justifying it. Carly’s family is disintegrating, her mother splitting from the boyfriend they’ve lived with since Carly was young; this loss, coupled with Brian’s dumping her, is more than Carly can handle. Carly’s stalking is inevitably and humiliatingly discovered, but Graham (Thou Shalt Not Dump the Skater Dude) doesn’t quite recapture the intensity of the beginning of the story. The omniscient narrator, though, gives readers a strikingly intimate perspective on Carly, following her with the same level of detail that she pursues Taylor. Ages 12-up. (Aug.)
Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books
"Graham's style is friendly and conversational, yet her storytelling is precise and controlled. She skillfully moves back and forth in the timeline for maximum impact."
VOYA - Marlyn Beebe
Carly Finnegan's life has just fallen apart. She had been planning to spend the summer working at an archaeological dig with her father, but his wife just found out she is pregnant, and he is going to stay at home with her. Her mother and long-time partner, Nick, are splitting up, and Mom and Carly have to move out of his loft, which is pretty much the only home she has ever known. When she starts dating Brian, she thinks that perhaps things will not be so bad after all; however, all the upheaval in Carly's life turns her into someone she is not. She becomes very needy and possessive of Brian. Brian soon tires of it and breaks up with her. When she finds out he has a new girlfriend, Carly becomes obsessed with finding out as much about her as she can. Although she knows it is wrong to "research" Taylor and her family, she cannot help herself. Before she knows it, she spends a day following Taylor around New York City, all the time perfectly aware that she has become a stalker. It may not have been intended as a cautionary tale, but that is what the novel really is. Luckily, Carly is sympathetic enough that the reader can identify with her, and the other characters are also believable. This book is strongly recommended. Reviewer: Marlyn Beebe
Children's Literature - Elizabeth D. Schafer
Carly Finnegan, age seventeen, is distressed when she suffers several major crises involving her mother, father, and boyfriend. Her story is presented in a vignette showing Carly stalking a girl, chapters depicting her summer romance, and a section describing her reactions to changes. Readers meet Carly, a high school senior in Manhattan, when she is observing Taylor Deen, the new girlfriend of Carly's former boyfriend Brian. Flashing back, the majority of this novel focuses on Carly falling in love with Brian. Prior to meeting him, Carly is upset when her archaeologist father cancels their plans for a summer excavation in Turkey because of her stepmother's pregnancy. Her mother reveals she has ended her thirteen-year relationship with Nick, the father of Carly's younger sister Jess and owner of the loft where they live. Moving out, Carly's mother accepts a summer job as a camp director and a position for Carly. Carly befriends co-worker Brian and frequently visits Brian's mother and brothers at their home. Carly encourages the boys' efforts in forming a band naming it to honor their grandmother, and then she travels with them to performances. The band's expanding popularity limits Carly's access to Brian, who responds to her defensive behavior responding to female fans' attention by breaking off their relationship. Stunned by the sudden loss of Brian's affection, Carly is devastated and confused, remembering the intimacies they had shared. Learning about Taylor, Carly's subsequent actions create victims, including her. Many readers of both genders will commiserate with Carly's heartbreak and contemplate how they might respond. Read with Janet Tashjian's Fault Line (2003), Pete Hautman's Invisible (2005), and Stalking: Psychiatric Perspectives and Practical Approaches (2007), edited by Debra A. Pinals. Reviewer: Elizabeth D. Schafer
School Library Journal
Gr 8–10—When Carly's mother ends her relationship with her boyfriend, Carly is given two options for the summer: either go live temporarily with her father and stepmother in Ohio, or take a job at Stony Hollow, an exclusive sleepaway camp at which her mother is the Interim Director. Opting to take the camp position, Carly finds that she desperately misses city life and is unnerved by ordinary sounds in the woods, but soon falls in love with Brian, her fellow kitchen worker and a talented musician. Summer camp comes to an end all too quickly, and Carly finds herself back at her expensive Manhattan all-girls prep school, while Brian rents an apartment in Brooklyn. Greater exposure and praise of his band lead to an increase in female fans, heightening Carly's insecurity and resulting in an irrevocable split in the relationship. When Taylor, Brian's new girlfriend, arrives on the scene, Carly's obsession and stalker tendencies go beyond the pale, leading to unintended and fateful consequences. The action feels a bit flat and moves slowly, although the tempo increases in the last third of the story. Several scenes show promise, insight, and excitement; the tension between the rich Manhattan second-home owners ("Citiots") and year-round residents is believable, while Carly's interrogation by a defense attorney is fast-paced. However, readers never fully empathize with or understand her actions. Although the ending is somewhat tidy and perhaps not redemptive enough, there is hope that Carly has learned her lesson.—Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.78(w) x 11.28(h) x 1.05(d)
880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Rosemary Graham is the author of the young adult novels THOU SHALT NOT DUMP THE SKATER DUDE (AND OTHER COMMANDMENTS I HAVE BROKEN) and MY NOT-SO-TERRIBLE TIME AT THE HIPPIE HOTEL, both published by Viking. Her essays and commentaries have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Santa Monica Review, and on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." She teaches English and Creative Writing at Saint Mary's College of California and lives in Berkeley with her husband and daughter.


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Stalker Girl 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually like most books, so I naturally thought I would like this one. It seems interesting, which the concept is, but not the actual content. It seemed like random events were plucked from a story and strung together. When I finished, the only thought I had was "what the heck was that." I read this a couple years ago so maybe my memory is painting it worse than it is, but it was pretty awful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first I thought this would just be a book about a teen stalking her ex's new girlfriend, but boy was I wrong. It's a rainy day read with a story line and characters that you can connect with. If you have a day to spare, I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a story of a young sixteen-year-old girl named Carly Finnegan. Carly has lived in Manhattan all her life and she is a senior in high school. Everything seems all fun and games until Carly¿s world had just fallen apart. She had been planning to go to Turkey with her father for an archaeological dig; but when her stepmother (Ann) found out that she is pregnant, her father does not go which leaves Carly devastated. Meanwhile, her mother and stepfather (Nick) split up after thirteen years of being together, so Carly and her mother move out his loft. Carly does not know what to expect now that her life has been ruined. Description and summary of main points Carly flashes back to how stalking her ex-boyfriend¿s new girlfriends came to be, as she stalking Taylor. Carly, her mother, and her younger sister go to camp. Carly¿s mother is the new camp director and Carly is the new kitchen assistant. While Carly starts her job, she befriends and boy named Brian, his brother (Amery), and their cousin (Liam). Later on, Brian and Carly start to date, but then, Carly becomes needy and possessive of Brian, so he breaks up with her. Carly finds out that Brian has a new girlfriend (Taylor), Carly needs to know everything about her. Carly knows that it is wrong, but she just cannot help herself. Evaluation ¿She wasn¿t always like this. If you¿d meet Carly, say, just six months before, you wouldn¿t have pegged her as a stalker in the making.¿ What this means is that six months ago, if Brian didn¿t break up with her, or if Carly had not been so needy and possessive of Brian maybe she wouldn¿t have been a stalker. Conclusion Carly comes to her senses and she has stopped stalking Brian¿s new girlfriend, and actually befriends with her. Carly¿s life is just slowly getting pieces back together, even if it means that it will take a long time for it go to go back to the way that it originally did. Your final review I recommend this book to anyone who loves reading, and who is a middle school student. I think that this book is full of love and betrayal, which would be good for anyone who likes romance and/or likes betrayal. This book is great for teens or young adults. I recommend it to all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Claireful More than 1 year ago
I loved this book on every level. That's the thing-there are a lot of levels to this book. First there's the whole premise of girl stalking boy. That's creepy and exciting in the best possible, page-flipping kinda way. Second, Graham is a master of complexity. This isn't a shallow, rubber-necking tale of someone's over-the-top, inauthentic, psychological demise. If it were just that, I wouldn't have liked Carly and would have had no stake in the story. Instead, Graham lays an interesting, completely believable web of events that lead to Carly's undoing. I was really touched by this character, so much so that I found myself trying to scream through the pages at her. Graham twists the story into intriguing knots by unraveling it from the end. We start with the blow-up and then trace back to the lighting of the fuse. From there we get multiple layers of change and sadness in her life. Then we follow the sparks of the fuse all the way back to the first chapter. This book combines my two favorite genres, love story and psychological thriller. I was both riveted by the rush of the suspense and by the series of crises that transformed the character. Carly didn't crash and burn. She crashed, singed, showered and moved on. I found her resilience inspiring.
Lauren817 More than 1 year ago
I've been wanting to read Stalker Girl for a while now. Since the premise sounded interesting and intense, I've read Rosemary Graham's previous and fabulous novel Thou Shalt Not Dump the Skater Dude a couple of years ago, and after seeing the book trailer for this, I was even more excited. So the minute this landed in my hands, I dived right in, eager to find out what my final verdict on this story would be. Thankfully, Stalker Girl provided mostly everything I hoped it would be. What's that, per say? Well, a unique, interesting, and provocative look into what happens when one girl goes too far when it comes to her and her former boyfriend's girlfriend. When Stalker Girl opens up, you get hurled into the day when Carly first makes the mistake of stalking Taylor, Carly's ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend, leaving Carly to come off as character I thought was a complete nut-job. And in some ways she was. She went way too far as you'll see if you read this book than most normal girl's would go if they were in the same situation. Though, you also got to see a different side of Carly in part two when Rosemary shows the ups and downs of Carly and Brian's relationship. The side that showed Carly in a new light where she were her actions became, to some extent, explainable. Since she was a girl who was facing a lot, and because of that she just wanted to be loved and wanted; leaving that to be were Brain fit in. He was meant to be her hero, I guess you would say, but it turned out he was far from being able to filling the part of Carly that was missing. This all left me to somewhat understand Carly by the end, but I was still far from liking her. Though, in my opinion, I don't think she was meant to be liked; instead I think she was meant to be an example of what girls shouldn't do when it comes to comes to break-ups, how instead of taking Carly's confusing and forbidden road, should call a friend and rant, and, most importantly, move on, even if it does hurt like heck. Moving on, the execution of the premise was pretty great; something that nearly always had my full attention. I really liked seeing the many sides of Carly through the three parts, as well as the epilogue Rosemary provided that gave you hope for Carly and her family/friends. Also I was often on the edge of my seat eager to find out more as new parts of the story were reveled through the third person narration. Graham's writing was a high point too. Since it flowed perfectly and showed true talent, one that I'll be looking to read to more by. In all Stalker Girl is a book I highly suggest because it gives you not only a look into a topic that there isn't much of in YA, but it shows teen girls (and even guys) what not to do when it comes to you, your exs, and their new relationships. Grade: B+
peaceloveandpat More than 1 year ago
The book was written in three parts. Carly stalking her ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend named Taylor. Part two was the time Carly met her ex-boyfriend Brian and the third part is where the consequences of her deranged fixation on Taylor happens. I was expecting a girl stalking her ex-boyfriend not a girl stalking her ex-boyfriend's new girl friend. it was completely freaky and absolutely deranged. But I guess it made sense. I think I kind of understand how Carly mind works. The insecurity and uncertainty of how she was when she was with Brian was questioned when he broke up with her, i think all of us went through that from sometime. I remembered comparing myself to a new girlfriend my ex-boyfriend had at one time and finding myself questioning, what she got that I don't have, I obsess about it for days but that's the farthest that I went. And I felt extremely pathetic, so imagine how Carly feels? And the sad part was she knows that it is wrong, it is sad and it is pathetic, yet she couldn't stop. I would really love a psychological explanation. This is my first time reading something abut stalking and it was interesting, creepy and full of emotions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this book any good bcuz the last time some1 reveiwed this was 12/1/11 -Danie