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.
I wanted to get this book in my classroom library as soon as I saw the book trailer for it. It seems that in high school, there is always some sort of “drama” going on between students who do not get along. This seemed to be particularly true of my students last year, so I thought some of my female students could relate to this novel.
What I really liked about this book was how it immediately drew me in. The conflict starts within the first few pages, and I wanted to keep reading to find out how Regina was going to handle each situation she faced with the Fearsome Foursome. And oh does the conflict escalate! Sometimes, it was a little difficult to read, just because the events are that disturbing.
I suppose one issue I had while reading was wondering how true to life this book could be. Are girls really this mean to each other? Do events like this really happen? When I was in school (eleven years ago) I never witnessed anything this extreme. And today, as a high school teacher, I am unaware of anything this severe. However, maybe I am as clueless as Regina’s teachers. I would like to think not, but it also makes me want to be more observant and more sensitive to what teens are going through.
When it comes to recommending this book, it would definitely be to teenage girls who may be going through such an ordeal. I think this book would encourage students to seek help. There were so many times when I wanted Regina to tell someone what was happening, so perhaps it would entice readers to do the same. Courtney Summers tackled this subject matter openly, and I think young adult readers will really appreciate this.