Imagine being smart enough to get into a really great college, but watching your single mother struggle to simply keep up with the bills every month. Imagine being popular enough to be invited to lots of parties, but knowing that showing up will likely just add fuel to the flames of the various rumors about you. Imagine having a best friend who has known you for practically your whole life, and who lets you curl up in his bed every time you have a nightmare, but feeling like he doesn’t really understand you. Imagine going through an experience so traumatic that you aren’t even sure which pieces of your life you’d like to pick up, let alone how you might manage to accomplish such a feat.
This coming of age story tackles a variety of important topics like under-age drinking, consent, and grief. Not only does it present a realistic/modern view of friendship and dating in high school, but it also provides a no-hold-barred examination of the sexist double-standards and slut-shaming that are so prevalent in our society. I recommend this book to readers who liked Story of a Girl (Sara Zarr) and/or Inexcusable (Chris Lynch).