Frozen out of her clique after vicious rumors circulate, Regina Afton takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit whom she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be "more" than just a friend.
OPINION: 5 STARS
Powerful, intense, harsh and unbelievable. This book isn't just bullying, it is most definitely much more than that. Summers has an amazing writing style that completely draws me in, making characters that I should and normally would hate ones that I feel for and want the best for. As with Cracked Up To Be, there were several defining characters in this book, even in places unexpected places.
What I loved the most about this book was how Regina had been a part of the Fearsome Fivesome- the top girls at the school who run everything, at least until rumors spread she slept with her best friend- and the top girl's- boyfriend. The clique's usual habit of picking a victim and basically making their life hell turns onto Regina- tricks she knows well and has been on the giving end of. Regina gets a very vivid understanding of what she's been doing to others in high school- only instead of taking it like everyone before her, she fights back. Many times, I kept picturing her as the beaten puppy that eventually snaps and attacks the hand that hits. But what happens to that puppy? It's only beaten worse. Whenever things seemed like they couldn't get worse, of course they did and often in very surprising ways.
There are several layers to this book, pulling together in amazing methods. Michael is a phenomenally written character, fighting his own demons to be the good person he is and wants to be, no matter how much Regina tests it. I felt for him completely, falling in love with him faster than Regina did. He couldn't stay mad and it was perfect for his character, for the story, and for Regina. A strong message came from his character alone.
Many times, I was honestly surprised at just how far the main clique would go to torment Regina- much of it downright criminal. Even though the sane part me constantly screamed tell someone, we all know it isn't that easy in high school. Despite the No Tolerance policy, there is just too much that goes on under the radar and telling opens up for things to get worse. It was hard to watch Regina try to navigate everything but this is certainly a book that will stick with me.
This one easily earns 5 stars, from the powerful writing to the amazing and in depth characters to the plot and the events, this one is an all around hit. Summers is most definitely an author staying on my radar and has earned a spot on my favorites list between this book and Cracked Up To Be.
Source: Purchased at Barnes and Noble
Paperback, 256 pages
St. Martin's Press
January 05, 2010
January 05, 2010