Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard—falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High… until vicious rumors about her and her best friend’s boyfriend start going around. Now Regina’s been “frozen out” and her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn’t come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend… if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don’t break them both first.
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.
Courtney Summers’ second book was my first experience with her, but it definitely wasn’t my last after I read and loved Some Girls Are.
It’s a weird kind of love, though – this is a brutal book about high school bullying and such, so it’s definitely not a happy book. Regina, the main character, isn’t always the nicest person, both before and after she’s kicked out of the popular crowd for a misunderstanding. I felt sorry for Regina no matter what, though, from the beginning of the book when she’s still a part of the clique to the middle of the book when she’s being pushed around and practically tortured by her former friends and frenemies to the end.
Since this was a fairly short book at only 246 pages, I feel like the characters were a little underdeveloped other than the main character and a few others. Anna, the leader of the popular clique, especially seemed underdeveloped to me. I had trouble understanding who she really was, even when Regina would think about old memories with her or we would see her in person. She just seemed like she could have used some more characterizing or something.
Overall, though, this book really left me thinking and a bit emotionally drained. There was one scene in particular that made me very angry, not at Regina but at the people who did something to her, because it was one of the worst things they could possibly due. There’s another scene that made me very angry, but it was the earlier scene that really got to me. Even now, a couple months later, this book has stuck with me.