My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In addition to having the goal of reading through as many of the award winning books as possible [Newbery, Printz, National Book, Pulitzer, etc.] I had extra motivation for reading this book. Early in the school year the English teacher at my school assigned this to her freshmen. Shortly thereafter, one of the freshmen [from a conservative family] had her parents withdraw her from school. I was in a meeting, I think National Honor Society [NHS] Advisory Council, when the news came [as the mom was filling out paperwork] and the English teacher and NHS adviser mentioned she felt it was partly her fault because she handled a situation [as it later turned out, over this book] incorrectly. I was told differently by the superintendent, but none-the-less my interest in the book was piqued.
[[spoiler]]I knew the book was about a girl trying to cope with being raped[[/spoiler]]. However, I didn't know a lot else about the book and had trouble getting a hold of a copy of it on audio because it always seemed to be checked out from the library. When it did finally come in I was in the middle of a long book and by the time I finished it had been due back and I had to wait again. In the meantime, my wife picked it up while subbing for that English teacher one day and finished it the next day in less than 24 hours. I did the same. I listened to it in one day after starting and finishing My Beloved Brontosaurus earlier the same day.
The book was good and hard to put down, but I didn't think it was great. It dealt with real-world teen problems from school and social life. I can certainly see the appeal of this book to teens and to making them think about how they would respond to such a situation whether victim, perpetrator, bystander, or friend/outsider. I do wish that the book would have dealt with the plot on a different timeline or delved more into the resolution of the climax. It feels a bit formulaic to have a novel about teens start at the beginning of the school year and finally
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