Our shortcomings don't define who we are, unless we let them. Cindy Johnson needs to learn that. Born with one leg shorter than the other, she has no self-esteem because of the cruel comments and cold stares she receives from her classmates. When Cory Neil, the football quarterback asks her to Homecoming, she's quite sure he's asked her on a dare and refuses. It takes more than just her mother's assurances that Cindy's beautiful before she realizes she may have made a mistake in turning him down.
Shortcomings is a short and sweet contemporary YA that will appeal to a wide variety of readers. It has a real-to-life authentic voice and a great pacing that allows for a light, but substantial, read. Although Shortcomings definitely isn't a novel that will take long to read, it is enjoyable throughout the entire ride.
Cindy is a very likeable character. She is caring and funny, and has to deal with a lot given the small defect that she has. Nearly every teenage girl is self-conscious about at least one part of her body, so the feelings about her slight limp are completely relatable. Besides, we've have enough of the perfectly perfect female characters. Being born with one leg longer than the other is not only a main part of the plot, but it allows Cindy to be more unique, as well as flawed. If there is one thing I love in novels, it's flawed characters.
The relationship between Cindy and Cory is incredibly sweet, and I loved the natural way that it grew. At times, it seemed that Cindy was being a little ridiculous (of course he likes you) but I suppose it is understandable. When you tell yourself something enough, it is hard to convince you otherwise.
The themes in Shortcomings were excellent. Especially for those in middle school and high school who seem to forget about them altogether. Everyone has their little faults, but we can't let them get in our way. I absolutely loved the ongoing theme of not being defined by our shortcomings, and the clear way it is incorporated into the story.
Simply put, Shortcomings is a fun, but strong, read that will satisfy readers. Sweet and entertaining the entire way through, it is definitely worth a look at.