By: Lurlene McDaniel
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 2012
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: September 2012
This is one of those rare fiction books that speak wholeheartedly and truthfully about some very serious issues that are occurring in our day and age. From terrorism by young adults to bullying, teen pregnancy, and the age old theory of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ - where a guy from one side of the tracks finds himself madly in love with a ‘perfect’ girl from the other side - this tale has it all.
As we begin, the school kids are all assembled in the courtyard excited about the fact that Thanksgiving Break is upon them and they finally get some time off from school to enjoy a holiday and each other. At 7:35 AM…a bomb is detonated, silencing their dreams…
As the author brings us back to September, we are introduced to a girl by the name of Morgan Frierson. Morgan is Student Council President dating one of the jocks who’s mainly a soccer star, but in this season he’s also the field goal kicker for the football team - she is one girl who seemingly has it all.
Also in school, when he feels like going, is Stuart Rothman (AKA: Roth). He’s liked Morgan since sixth grade - before he became the bad boy of the town. He lives with his Uncle, who has just taken a wife, and spends most of his time at his Uncle’s business - the Ink Spot tattoo parlor. His Uncle is a military guy with a big heart. Roth was orphaned at seven after his parents were killed in an explosion of their meth lad and became a ward of the state before being taken in by his Uncle, who makes sure that Roth knows that he MUST graduate high school no matter what, and drop this whole ‘wicked’ side.
Kelli, one of Morgan’s best friends, is a cheerleader whose parented by a mom who wants nothing more than to relive her glory days through her child; although Kelli has an issue that will not only erase the cheerleading career but will also cause her to face a break-up.
Roth’s best friend is a girl named Liza who wants far more than friendship. Add into all this a duo called ‘The Watchers’ who hate the popular students and want to make sure everyone knows it - and you have an unforgettable tale with a wealth of emotion.
This author has done a fantastic job of overlapping fiction with fact. So much so, that the reader will be heartbroken when they think about the very real troubles in today’s schools.
Quill Says: A lovely romance locked inside a tale of heartache, determination and a look at having to grow up way too fast!