From debut author Amanda Maciel comes a provocative and unforgettable novel, inspired by real-life incidents, about a teenage girl who faces criminal charges for bullying after a classmate commits suicide.
Emma Putnam is dead, and it's all Sara Wharton's fault. At least, that's what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma's shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who's ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media. In the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her own role in an undeniable tragedy. And she'll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.
With its powerful narrative, unconventional point of view, and strong anti-bullying theme, this coming-of-age story offers smart, insightful, and nuanced views on high school society, toxic friendships, and family relationships.
Supports the Common Core State Standards.
- The story was modern and definitely something that needs to be talked about and brought to light.
- The main character, Sara befriends a girl who she thinks will help her popularity, give her companionship and help her fit in. But that relationship is toxic and draws her “down the drain.” She starts doing things and saying things that she normally wouldn’t, plus she doesn’t stand up for what she believes is right and wrong. I have had that happen in my life and it is so easy to see how quickly you can change with bad influences.
- The story moved from present to past to show how the situation with Emma really evolved. It was interesting to see how the changes happen and how both sides of the situation seemed to make bad decisions.
- For a YA book, this one stayed in line with teen attitudes, thoughts and actions. Sometimes the teens act too old or too young, but this seemed to be right on.
- The story still make Sara seem like she didn’t really comprehend her actions. I wanted her to feel more and it just felt surface at the end. Almost the whole book felt surface. The author said she wrote it because of a similar situation and I almost feel it needed to come from “the horse’s mouth” to give the true depth to the story.
- I really wish that we could have had part of the story from Emma’s POV. Since suicide rates in this country are rising yearly, I think knowing how someone who is bullied really feels may shed light on the situation.