Note: This book covers heavy topics. While it doesn’t get too graphic, it does cover topics that may make some uncomfortable.
A child is bullied. Another child is wrongly blamed. A mother feels she has to compete with her ex for the attention of her teenage daughter. Another mother deals with domestic violence. What do they all have in common? All their children attend the same class.
I came into this book thinking that it would be very juvenile and full of angst. While my theories aren’t entirely unfounded, they were a bit unjustified. It goes deeper than what I suspected. The story is full of different perspectives and different families and their troubles. I think the biggest message that can be pulled from this story is that nothing is as it seems. A rose may be beautiful, but some can have bruises on the inside.
The characters. Where do I begin? There’s Madeline who is outspoken and sassy. There’s Jane who’s shy and would love nothing more than to fade into the background. There’s Celeste, Renatta, Bonnie, Ed, Harper, Nathan, and so many more. I feel like I relate to both Madeline and Jane. I’m like a healthy combination of the two. I really connected with multiple characters. I wanted to shake some sense into others.
I sincerely enjoyed this book. What I thought would be a silly book full of angst was deep and full of meaning. I can’t explain how well rounded every single character is in this book. Even the ones that it would seem are insane. This book is deep and pure. It provokes passion and deep thoughts. I’ve wanted to read this book for a long time. I’m glad I finally did.
Personal Note: Domestic Abuse, Sexual Abuse, and Bullying are nothing to be ashamed of. Our silence is the predator’s greatest weapon. If you are a victim, please reach out to somebody and get help. Don’t let anybody shame you or make you feel bad for coming forward. For those of you who suspect, reach out to the person. Pay attention and see what they aren’t saying as well as what they are.