My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Leah Greene is dead. For Laine, knowing what really happened and the awful feeling that she is, in some way, responsible set her on a journey of painful self-discovery. Yes, she wished for this. She hated Leah that much. Hated her for all the times in the closet, when Leah made her do those things. They were just practicing, Leah said. But why did Leah choose her? Was she special, or just easy to control? And why didn’t Laine make it stop sooner? In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laine is left to explore the devastating lessons Leah taught her, find some meaning in them, and decide whether she can forgive Leah and, ultimately, herself.
In my quest to read books that have been challenged or banned, in honor of Banned Books Week, this book was second on my list. My first was Laurie Halse Anderson's, Speak. The theme of this book was very difficult to read about-sexual abuse made even more difficult to read by the fact that it was a child who sexually abused another child. It really opened my eyes to how some who are abused go on to become abusers. At times it was difficult to feel sorry for Leah as she was so cruel and manipulative of Laine. Then you realize how tortured and in pain Leah was and what ultimately leads to her untimely demise. What was most heartbreaking for me was the fact that Laine's childhood seemed stolen and what a tragedy that would be. While I was so happy for Laine that she made some true friends, it was disheartening to see her (and her friends) rely so heavily on alcohol use to have a good time. I would recommend this book for an older teen for that reason.
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