Weird Girl and What’s His Name
Written by Meagan Brothers
Published by Three Rooms Press
In small town North Carolina two friends share a lot, including serious outsider status, a love of The X-Files TV show and plenty of secrets. In fact, Lula (the titular Weird Girl) is the only person who knows that Rory (a.k.a. What’s His Name) is gay, and Lula shares with Rory the contents of a bag of items left behind by her mother when she abandoned Lula with Lula’s grandparents in toddlerhood.
But when Lula discovers a major secret that Rory’s been keeping even from her, her whole world is sent spinning, and she begins to question everything. Without word, she disappears to search for her mother, leaving Rory alone and lonely.
The inclusion of the constant X-Files references is quite genius, actually, in that they provide not only a thematic consistency to a book with two individual narrators (Rory in the first half, Lula in the second) but they also act, while the two are apart, as a reminder of the bonds that connect the two characters; sometimes they might drift apart, but true friends always share a connection.
Brothers is an excellent writer, with a grasp of subtlety not often seen in the young adult section. She never gets mired in melodrama the way some (or most) of her peers do, and she deals with serious topics with an admirable grace, the likes have been rarely seen since Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Her two protagonists are rendered with sensitivity and a welcome lack of precociousness; these are realistic seventeen year old kids.
Weird Girl and What’s His Name is the latest novel from Meagan Brothers, whose two previous efforts were very good indeed; this is a step up from even her own very high standard.
Kinderlit requested and received a copy of Weird Girl and What’s His Name in exchange for an honest review. Read about our Review Policy HERE.