What begins as a typical day at the beach ends in tragedy. While swimming in the ocean, with her mother and older brother looking on, Jane loses her arm to a shark. Needless to say, her life changes forever. While recovering from her loss, she must visit the hospital, the psychiatrist, and the physical therapist in turn. She details these appointments as well as her readjustment to life at home and high school. As different people attempt to heal her body and question her abilities, Jane must try to heal her own spirit and mind.
Jane was once an artist, dependent upon that arm, that hand, those fingers to express herself on paper. Her other arm is fine, but her thoughts don't flow as freely down that way, and her other hand and fingers feel awkward, pudgy, unable to capture the pictures in her mind's eye. Everything looks and feels wrong, wrong, wrong.
Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham is 95% verse novel, with news clippings, letters, and phone conversations interspersed. At first, Jane feels as though she is maybe half of who she once was - maybe even less - but as she attempts to regain control of her life and regrasp her talents, she starts to feel whole again. This book is 100% heart. Recommended.