See this review and more at Such A Novel Idea
*I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review via Edelweiss.*
Wow. This book left me (wait for it...) speechless.
It was an interesting choice to focus on the person who didn't inflict the violence or have the violence inflicted upon them. It was the girl who used words as a weapon. And what a powerful choice that was. It leaves a really great impression; our words unequivocally have meaning and power. That words can be the ultimate weapon.
At the beginning of the book I rolled my eyes a lot. We see these catty girls, Chelsea and her best friend (the Queen Bee) Kristen, who seem to have souls layered with black dredge from the depths of hell. I hope that imagery sticks with you, because that's what I kept seeing. I had no remorse for Chelsea. She stepped on anyone to get what she wanted, blackmailed, and took something so personal and made it public -- a classmate's sexuality. So when she makes the choice to tell the police what happened, an action that left her utterly scorned and the pariah at school, I didn't really feel bad.
But slowly, Chelsea began to change before our eyes. The growth she made as a character was rather incredible. Hannah Harrington made me feel something for Chelsea, made my heart ache for her. That my friends takes a lot of talent. This book had a lot of hate, but it also had so, so much love. The resilience of so many characters (Sam, Asha, Andy, NOAH) made the book truly spectacular. These teenagers were so insightful and the issues that Hannah brought out in the complex issues, situations, and emotions made the book thought-provoking and dynamic.
This book has a powerful message -- one that every teenager needs to read. It isn't just the person who says the hateful speech that is at fault. It is the people who laugh out of fear of being the next target. It is those who stand by and let the hate happen and never say anything. Absolutely an incredible book I will not soon forget.
Four point five out of five stars