I bought this book like 5 years ago I’m pretty sure. It has sat on my bookshelf for that long. It sounded like my kind of thing, you know high school drama, I just hadn’t gotten around to reading it and so finally I did.
It definitely was not what I was expecting. This book is all about the life of Carolyn Lessing, a girl who moved to a small town in Alabama but the point of view is not Carolyn’s.
The style is something that I’ve never read before. It was first person plural, and so the point of view of high school girls. Girls who weren’t super popular but wanted to be, people who saw Carolyn live her life and were secretly jealous. Spectators to what was going on around them but never interfered.
I have to say I kind of clocked what happened pretty quick. High school new girl, bullied and eventually commits suicide…
Definitely a new take on it though, with you feeling like you were one of those girls who just watched Carolyn get bullied, stood at the side lines and did nothing. It kind of brings me back to when I was at school, these things happen. We all just watch, we are all trying to be involved in everyone’s lives but when it really comes down to it, that’s all we do. When we see things happening we don’t intervene because we feel like it’s not our place, and then something happens and maybe we think it was our place to speak up.
The book probably would have made a bigger impact on me if I had actually read it 5 years ago, but I feel like after 13 Reasons Why on Netflix and everything this message has pretty much been drilled into me and stayed with me. Our actions have consequences, even if it’s no action at all.
I gotta say the book started to feel a little Lifetime movie to me towards the end, the whole aftermath of Carolyn’s passing, the media coverage, them arresting and trying to press charges against the bullies. Things I’ve definitely seen in a Lifetime movie about bullying before.
Still an interesting read, took a while to get used to the first person plural though. I also thought that maybe it dragged just a little, I think I would have preferred a little bit more time spent on the aftermath.
But now the book is done and I hope to never leave another book on my bookshelf unread for 5 years again lol.
~ Courtney x