Summary: Last year Jane lost most of her right arm in a shark attack. The devastation she experienced was intensified by the fact that by taking her hand, the shark crippled her dreams of becoming an artist. 

Now, a year later, Jane is starting her senior year.  Things are becoming more “normal,” and she has worked diligently to learn to create art with her other hand. But, where should she go from here?  Should she pursue a life of nursing to help others like those who helped her?  Or, is it possible to still pursue her dream of being an artist?  And, Jane also wonders if a guy will ever see her for more than “the shark girl.” 

Thoughts: I loved Shark Girl and was delighted when I heard there was a sequel on the way.  Formerly Shark Girl did not disappoint. Jane’s story continues, in Kelly Bingham’s lovely verse, as she celebrates progress and victories, but also struggles with decisions about her future.  I love that she reconnects with her art, exploring it in new ways, and that Max reappears with his own struggles (he is definitely a new addition to my list of literary crushes!).  Readers will relate to Jane’s struggle to choose a career and to her desire to be defined by more than one incident. 

Read Formerly Shark Girl, if you … 
  • enjoyed Shark Girl
  • like novels-in-verse, such as those by Sonya Sones & Lisa Schroeder 
  • enjoy stories of teens on journeys of self-discovery, such as those by Sarah Dessen 
  • are an art appreciator 
  • are trying to (or still trying to!) figure out what you want to be when you grow up!