Dinner has been eaten, emails sent, and now I post for you a review I did back in…March?
By Laurie Halse Anderson
Melinda Sordino is just starting high school. It’s a new place with new rules and new faces and new problems with fitting in, but it’s even worse when you’ve lost all your friends to begin with.
It’s not easy to meet new friends when you’re no longer sure who you are, and when the secrets you keep stop you from talking to people, then fitting in, pleasing your parents, and passing your classes is simply not possible.
I’m going to do something I usually don’t do, and ruin this book for you, so if you don’t already know what it’s about and have any interest in reading dark, angsty teen stories, please skip reading this review.
Okay, so, the only reason I read this book was because when I started college, they decided during freshman orientation that it would be a great idea to herd us all into this movie theatre across the street and make us watch the movie.
I never was able to discern what motive they had for doing this to us…not only was it a terrible way to tell us not to party because we’d end up getting raped, but it also introduced us to Kristen Stewart, which was also a bad move. If I had known that girl was going to be famous, I’d have changed my major and become an actress, since I have a slightly wider range of facial expressions than she does…
So yeah, Melinda gets raped, but you don’t find this out until about three quarters of the way through the book. Most of the story before that is there to build things up and make us wonder how Melinda lost her friends and what’s wrong with her that she always feels so depressed and can’t talk to anyone. And then, BAM! There it is.
Now, I suppose I can agree with the people who told me that the book was better than the film. The book, for one, doesn’t have Kristen Stewart in it, and is also told with enough personality that it’s kind of absorbing because of the ways that Melinda describes her classmates and the teachers, and her assignments.
The book also has a MUCH better ending than the movie did. I felt like the movie ending was really contrived, because there, Melinda ends up telling her mom all about what happened to her and she forgives her parents for being horrible to her and all this nonsense…but in the book, she ends up telling her art teacher about what happened, and I felt like that was a much more believable ending because instead of wrapping things up with her old friends AND her family, the book shows Melinda just beginning to open up to the only character in the whole book that’s really been very kind to her. I thought it seemed more natural that way, but that’s just me.
Overall, the book wasn’t terribly offensive—the rape scene wasn’t graphic, but there were enough details that you know what’s going on—and the majority of the book was entertaining to read…it was just very, very sad in places, even though it ends on a positive-seeming note.
I recommend it, of course, for people who like teen dramas and are okay with reading books with overarching sad tones. Don’t really recommend it for anyone who might actually be feeling sad or depressed though.
And so ends today’s review.