Parents' Guide to


By Stephanie Dunnewind, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Disturbing novel explores the aftermath of bullying.

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Phillips adeptly gets into Cameron's head, effectively conveying the "can't-do-anything-about-it hopelessness building inside him" as school bullies step up their assaults. Adult readers will certainly hope no school allows this sort of violence, but Phillips doesn't offer many solutions to her grim situation. Teachers, parents, and counselors are ineffectual, if not dismissive of the gravity of the abuse.

It's a morally troubling book; readers want to sympathize with Cameron even as he becomes more and more emotionally disturbed. Secondary characters aren't well developed; perhaps this is intentional to emphasize Cameron's isolated perspective. When Cameron physically lashes out at another teen, the author seems inclined to forgive Cameron, with questionably little account for his victim. His guilt, in the eyes of the court, lies in his intention. Readers will have to decide if they agree that is justice or not.

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