by Laurie Halse Anderson

There are many great books out there. Ones that I absolutely love to read and entertain me from beginning to end. They are an escape from the real world and are the reason I love to read so much.

Then there are books that change the way you see the world. Books that come to life and teach you something new. This is one of these types of books.

I think Laurie Hasle Anderson is a fantastic author. This is the second book of hers that I have read and absolutely loved. Wintergirls was my first experience with her and I knew that I need to read this book after I finished that one. I think she has an amazing way of portraying, not only what it is like to be a teenager, but also what it feels like to be a teenager.

This is a story of a fourteen year old who has a traumatic event occur at a summer party and ends up starting school with no friends and so depressed she barely speaks. It was pretty easy to figure out what had happened to her and it was clear that she was to afraid to speak up and tell people the truth about that night. My heart broke for her that her friends, parents and teachers seemed so oblivious to what was really causing her to act the way she does. I didn't want to put the book down because I wanted someone to reach out to her and discover what was really going on.

It made me think about how I would have reacted to someone like Melinda when I was in High School. Would I have ignored her like everybody else? I wish I could say that I would have reach out to someone like that, but honestly I probably would have reacted the same as the kids in her school. Isn't it easy to assume someone is acting out for attention and not reach down deeper to find the root of the problem?

Anyway, I thought this was a very well written book. Anderson has done a great job of creating a character that you can feel and understand just who she is. 

I would highly recommend this book. The topic is heavy but definitely worth reading and talking about.