Review of Girl on the Other Side by Deborah Kerbel

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review of Girl on the Other Side by Deborah KerbelGirl On The Other Side by Deborah Kerbel
Published by Dundurn on 2009-10-19
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary, Friendship, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 152
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Tabby Freeman and Lora Froggett go to the same school, but they live in totally opposite worlds. Tabby is rich, pretty, and the most popular girl in her class. But behind closed doors, her rfectife is rapidly coming apart at the seams.On the other side, Lora is smart, timid, and the constant target of bullies. While struggling to survive the piranha-infested halls of her school, she becomes increasingly nervous that somebody might discover the unbearable truth about whats been happening to her family.Despite their differences, Tabby and Lora have something in common They’re both harbouring dark secrets and a lot of pain. Although theyve never been friends, a series of strange events causes their lives to crash together in ways neither could have ever imagined. And when the dust finally settles and all their secrets are forced out into the light, will the girls be saved or destroyed?

Let’s face it, high schoolers can be real assholes. Not all of course, but with the pressure to be in, sometimes the only way of being cool is by bringing others down. Girl on the Other Side by Deborah Kerbel is a short, gut-punch of a book featuring the intertwining of characters Lora Froggett and Tabby Freeman, two girls who lead drastically different lives. Tabby is basically a queen bee, think Mean Girls. Lora is a social outcast. Basically all of the kids at school would make it their mission to pick on Lora, they would trip her, call her Frog Face, make fun of her clothes. I should mention, Lora is not your average YA girl. She comes from a family with no money at all, her mom has MS, I think, so Lora has to basically take care of her siblings while her dad is working. Oh my god, let me just tell you I cried like a small child during the majority of Lora’s chapters because I could relate. I was never as big of a victim as Lora was, but I dealt with mean kids when I was in high school, I come from a humble background, and yes I did babysit my sisters while my parents were at work. It’s really, really hard, so I definitely love that I could relate so much to Lora.

Onto Tabby, basically Tabby is a ring-leader in let’s pick on Lora. Well, Tabby gets a dose of her own medicine. I loved seeing Tabby’s character development, to see how her character changes. I liked Tabby, she showed me that while being rich definitely has it’s perks, girls like her have their own troubles too. I feel like too often we think the grass is greener on the other side, yet never stop to think what sort of private struggles one might have.

I felt Girl On The Other Side by Deborah Kerbel was incredibly relevant, as so many teenagers are bullied. I hate that fact, hate it. No child deserves to have their self-esteemĀ assaultedĀ on a daily basis. I thought Girl on the Other Side was an emotionally-charged read. It had such a powerful message for such a short book. Unfortunately, though, I think those who could learn from the message aren’t really the type who read books for fun. It is my opinion that Girl On The Other Side by Deborah Kerbel has a place in all middle/high school libraries, as it’s one I feel most teenagers should read, and perhaps get the message that we should treat all with kindness, because you never ever know what sort of shit they may be going through.

While reading Girl On The Other Side, I recommend grape juice, as grape juice is bitter sweet, and Girl on the Other Side had a few sweet moments interspersed with the heartbreak bitter moments.

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Jessica Lawlor says

    This sounds great! Thanks for reviewing it- Just added it to my list!

  2. I think you're right that those who need to read it don't read for fun. I did not want for anything growing up and never had to babysit my siblings. I was bookish and extremely shy. I didn't fit in for that reason. It sounds like a very good book.

  3. Thank you for bringing this book to my attention. I, too, had to babysit my siblings and that is not a picnic. Bullying is such a big problem, any book that explores it and exposes the factors involved is a plus.
    I'll be looking for this one for our library.

  4. ~The Book Pixie says

    I really loved this book and Deborah Kerbel's other book Mackenzie, Lost and Found and I'm looking forward to reading more from her in the future as she is now a favorite author of mine. So glad you enjoyed this book. Great review. šŸ˜€


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