A Girl's Life by Stacey May Fowles

An accomplished and heart-wrenching story, Y is a modern variation of the archetypal coming of age tale. It joins a long list of novels that depict the transition from girl to woman as a painful trudge of rejection, violence, self-loathing, and narrow options. While the male Bildungsroman, such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Catcher in the Rye, or The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, tends to involve the acquisition of power, the experience of adventure, or the act of rebellion, the female version seems dictated by how well a heroine can withstand suffering without flinching.

...these girls do not triumph over, conquer, or even fight against pain, but instead prove themselves by simply enduring. When tragedy or injustice befalls our real and imagined heroines, it is their burden to bear, their inevitable, unspoken formulation of identity. The world is an anvil upon which the narrative shapes girls such as Shannon into blades.