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Thursday, May 7, 2009


Laurie Halse Anderson
Published 1999
198 pages
Rating: A

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t know hate her from a distance. The safest place is to be alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the part that, if she would let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth.
(taken from back of book)

(First I would just like to say it has been a year or so since I have actually read this book. But I am reviewing it still because it is one of my favorite books, although I can’t really explain why. And I think people need to read it. Sorry for the short rant.)

Melinda starts off high school on the wrong foot and it’s because of something that happened before school even started. Everything was going fine until that party. She knows why she called the cops but she isn’t telling anyone, not even her best friend, well now it’s her ex-best friend. After the party, her friends dump her and leave her to fend for herself at Merryweather High. She’s a freshman. And friendless.

Melinda doesn’t mind the stares and snickers all that much but it’s the rumors that she doesn’t like. They are wrong, all wrong. They don’t know anything about that night. Only Melinda knows what happened. Although no one would believe her if she did speak about it. There is someone else that knows, but they are keeping their mouth shut also. That’s a good thing.

Melinda dreads school everyday, although she has found comfort in her Art class taught by Mr. Freeman. He gives her the freedom to open up through art and at first she is skeptical and her emotions are non-existent. But as the year progresses something inside Melinda clicks, and art is the one thing she has to stay strong.

There is also this boy, David Petrakis, who is in her Biology class. He teaches her a little something about life and ends up being a good guy and a friend to Melinda.

Not only is this book a teenagers worst nightmare, but it is captivating and real. Maybe that’s why I like it so much. Anderson writes with such flavor, I feel like I am in the book and the story is happening to me.

Some people don’t like to read this book because of the “horrific, disgusting” plot and story behind Melinda. It is true her past isn’t one to think highly of, but her future is one to watch and learn from.

Although it’s a short read, it is one of those books that you look back on and smile. It’s a touching, shocking, page-turning, and absolutely must read. It teaches you about love, courage and most importantly, self-acceptance.


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