As the trial nears, Sara is finding out that being branded a bully and a villian is a lonely existance. Her whole life exists in a lawyer's office, visits to her therapist, summer school, and the agonizing wait to see exactly what sort of consequences her actions will have.
Amazing book!!! I really connected with this book in a big way. It's about mean girls and the other side of the story. Not the victim's side... the other side. Because every story has 2 sides right? And the thing is, if I read this from the victim's side, I probably would have HATED Brielle and Sara with a passion. But reading it from their side... I didn't hate them at all. I freaking related.
I remember being in high school... people were not nice to me at times and I was not nice to them. And yeah it usually was over some guy. I remember feeling exactly like Sara when it came to boys-- when having a boyfriend and being with someone who is considered "cool" meant everything. How my whole freaking day would hinge on whether I got a call or an IM (yeah texting didn't exist back then) from whatever guy I was into. To think about how much energy and emotion I wasted on such dumb relationships honestly exhausts me.
I've seen a lot of bad reviews for this book and mostly it's because people are appalled at Sara not having remorse for what she did to Emma. And I see where they are coming from... but I also think it is unrealistic to believe that everybody in this type of situation would instantly feel responsibility. Sara did not kill Emma. Emma killed herself... and a lot of the reason why Emma killed herself had to do with things she did to make herself a target. If you go after the popular girl's boyfriend and CHEAT with him... you have to expect some backlash. I didn't agree with what Sara and Brielle did to Emma all the time, but I can see why they were pissed at Emma.
A main focus in this book is the friendship between Brielle and Sara. How Brielle is the dominant friend and Sara is always tip-toeing around her. Wanting to still be Brielle's favorite friend, wanting to be in the in-group, wanting Brielle's approval for whatever reason. Holy shit can I relate. I had a friend A LOT like Brielle. She wasn't the queen bee of our school (she didn't even go to my school), but I always felt like I had to be careful around her. And we weren't nice girls. If someone went against us, we held a grudge. I wouldn't say that we were bullies, but we definitely had a few battles with other girls for various reasons (like I said earlier, mostly over some guy).
I loved everything about this book. I loved how it wasn't stereotypical victim-loving. I loved the writing and the dialogue. And I loved how this felt like real high school. Sometimes I felt uncomfortable relating to these "mean girls". And I can't lie, sometimes I really hated Emma as well. She definitely didn't do herself any favors. But I think that's the whole point of the book, to show you that this kind of stuff is complicated. There is no black and white sometimes.
OVERALL: A book about bullying that shows you the flip-side. It's not about the bullying victim, it's about the bullies. It shows how life isn't always black and white, good and bad. I want everyone to read this because I think it shows a really important perspective. It gets a conversation going at the very least.
Add it to your To-Read List!!
My Rating: 4/4
How I got this book: Thanks to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for allowing me to read and honestly review this book
Date Published: 4/29/2014