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 had a definitively strong reaction to this book.
I wanted to strangle everyone. Every character is awful–they’re all terrible people. This book showcased the ugly side of people.
It was disgusting how appalling everyone’s actions are.
And yet, I felt so hard reading this. My emotional reactions were all over the board because this book and these characters made me think. I couldn’t help but put myself into the situation and ask, what if? What if I were in Regina’s shoes–what would I do? What if I were Michael, or Liz? I tried analyzing the situation from every perspective. I immersed myself in the plot trying to understand the characters.
I was in a constant state of suffering due to the vise tightening around my chest because I was experiencing every terrible thing alongside Regina. But I hated her at the same time, and the emotions were so conflicting that I had my own personal struggle while reading.
And I’m still left wondering about how I feel toward this book. I didn’t feel the closure I usually have when finishing a book–I feel like there should have been more resolution. But then, nothing tied up neatly in this story because this story isn’t neat–it’s messy and hard and a constant struggle. The ending fit the story and I’m left feeling suspended in a paused storyline, waiting for it to resume.