Rating: 4/5 stars!
This book and I got off on the wrong foot. The book opens up with two girls discussing clothes and boys and gossip. If that's not a cliche, I don't know what is. Anyway, so I went in the book expecting a full-on shallow, high school musical type of book.
I'm glad I was wrong.
This book is much deeper than it first appears. Chelsea Knot can't keep her mouth shut. She loves gossip, and gossip loves her. But all this fires back when she shares that one secret she shouldn't have. She's now a social outcast, all her friends have turned against, and some guy almost got killed.
The main focus of this book is bullying, but somehow Harrington puts a new spin to it. Chelsea is not one of those weak, shaky protagonists who let bullies get to them, but at the same time, she's not that unrealistically fierce and independent protagonists as well. She's somewhere in between; she's a relate able character.
The way Chelsea deals with the situation she put herself in is, in my opinion, the main message of the book. It's inspirational really, how someone can overcome full on brutal bullying like that. Since the book is all about character development (Chelsea's specially) there's not much to say on that area. Hannah does an excellent job. She gets the reader from practically despising Chelsea and her group of friends to respecting her.
Kristen, the "villain" in this novel, is a spot-on portrayal of every girl bully there is. She's the one you hate so much but can't help but try to please at one point or another. She's controlling and mean, but at the same time can make you feel like you're special. She's an Alison DeLaurentis meets Regina George kind of girl. Yikes.
The writing is really good. Hannah had me laughing and cringing and feeling sorry for the characters all at the same time. The secondary characters are well done, each with a personality of their own. Andy/Noah were really cute. I think it's also brilliant of Hannah to manage to make a good book with the main character practically silent most of the time. Chelsea was an interesting narrative, and her inner dialogue made me laugh alot of the times.
Sam, one of the love interests( don't freak out, there's no love triangle here)is one of the most unique characters I came across. You know how all YA male characters ten to be drop dead gorgeous? Well, he's not. And usually, although I hate to admit it, that bugs me. But not this time around. While same is not even remotely the next GQ model, you get why the main character might be attracted to him.
For once, the author writes about a good, well-behaved, yet sexy guy. Not your usual douche-bag mysterious ass here. THANK YOU HARRINGTON! This book is for all of you fictional good guys out there. *cheers*.
I'd recommend this book to almost everyone. It's that kind of book you'll be sure everyone enjoys. It has more depth and purpose than most YA books out there, without sounding preachy. I love how it tackled the issue tolerance and anti-homophobia in a way that reaches the reader.
*A copy was provided by the publishers for an honest review