I read this book because it was banned. Banned books always make me curious and I often go out of my way to add them to my to be read list. This one was protested in North Carolina because of the underaged drinking and abuse.
This was like a watered down version of Speak by Laurie Halsie Anderson, so for my money, if you want to recommend or read a book like this one with real topics facing teenagers, Speak is a better choice. That said, my review is as follows.
The book starts out with an attempted rape at a party. All the children had been drinking. There is even some abuse of perscription drugs - not by the main characters- but the sale of said drugs at parties is blatant. This is real life. You could experience at any house party in America on any given Friday, to believe otherwise is naive.
The story is about how a group of girls ostracize one of it's members because of this attemtped rape. It is also about those "mean" girls and the terrible things that they are willing to do to other human beings to stay on that pinnacle of power that is the top of the highschool heirarchy. So sad and pathetic.
I think it's important for children to read books that have REAL subject matter and to talk to them about real issues. It's only by confronting what is really happening in our schools and with our children that we can even hope to make a difference.
I gave this one 3 out of 5 stars. It has an angry tone - rightly. The main character makes continually poor choices, even though her reasons for those choices change, which is a good thing. Good, but not as good as Speak.