Author: Amanda Maciel
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Goodreads: From debut author Amanda Maciel comes a provocative and unforgettable novel, inspired by real-life incidents, about a teenage girl who faces criminal charges for bullying after a classmate commits suicide.
Emma Putnam is dead, and it’s all Sara Wharton’s fault. At least, that’s what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma’s shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who’s ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media. In the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her own role in an undeniable tragedy. And she’ll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.
With its powerful narrative, unconventional point of view, and strong anti-bullying theme, this coming-of-age story offers smart, insightful, and nuanced views on high school society, toxic friendships, and family relationships.
Ope’s Opinion: From the first page this book was very intense. It kept the tension up throughout the whole book. It felt very realistic to me. It was hard to read and a couple of times I wanted to put it down, but I just wanted to see where the story was going to go.
I liked that the subject of bullying was verbal and not really much physical bullying. Physical bullying is easier to spot. I also liked that it was mostly about girls.
I didn’t like that the adults were not involved as much as I thought they should be. But this also felt realistic in that I don’t think students tell the adults in their lives what is going on when they are being bullied or doing the bullying.
Amanda Maciel wrote the characters so vividly that you don’t like them – which I think is exactly what she was aiming for. She did a great job of showing the influence one person has over another.
I think this book made me want to see if the bully was being bullied. In this book I think Sara ( who was the bully ) was being bullied by Brielle. That doesn’t give Sara an excuse to bully, but it just makes me think…
Rating: Four Chairs -I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.