Tensions grow and the abuse worsens as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be."
My Review: This book was horrifying---but in a good way. I wouldn't say that I enjoyed this book, because enjoying this book would be like enjoying a punch in the stomach: painful. But I did appreciate it, and I did like how it was well-written and very thought-provoking. In most "mean girl books", the mean girl gets a taste of her own medicine, realizes she was bad, apologizes to everyone, they forgive her, and life goes on, as she becomes a sweeter person...which is such garbage. I liked how realistic this book was. It didn't make excuses for Regina's meanness and it didn't try to make Regina seem like some nice, innocent person who got caught up in the wrong crowd. Because Regina still has the mean girl bone in her, as readers can see when she viciously fights back. She's not all sweetness-and-sugar. But it WAS amazing, getting inside Regina's head: she was a mess of anger, fear, depression, worry, guilt, and a whole wash of other emotions. I liked how just because she said she was sorry to some people she was evil to, they didn't just forgive her...because in real life, sometimes an apology is NOT enough. However, the book did show Regina as becoming aware as to how terrible she was and regretting her decisions and wishing she could take them back, which seemed like good progress for a character. The book was brutal and honest and real. The only bad part about the book was the ending---it seemed kind of sudden and weak, compared to the rest of the book, as if the author had gotten tired of writing. But otherwise... This book wasn't some lighthearted read, but it was a raw, real look at mean kids and bullying that I think almost everyone in junior high and high school should read.
Cover: At first, I didn't really understand the cover, but as the book went on, I understood the significance of the cover---such as the red locker and the new lock---so I appreciated it more. I liked how it wasn't all black and gloomy and Goth-looking; too many of these "dark" books tend to have covers like that...when in fact, even when kids are depressed, that doesn't necessarily mean they wear all black and read Sylvia Plath.
Overall Grade: A-