Fantastic book incredibly well written. Harking back to "Lord of the Flies," Picoult explores the dynamics of unsupervised group behavior among school children. It deals with all the themes that screech "inappropriate" for a young audience (F word numerous times, teen sex, violence, etc.) but it may be the most appropriate book for students and teachers and parents concerned with bullying and the related social dynamics. The story seems so well researched I had a hard time remembering that it is fictional. An expert witness for the defense of the Columbine-style shooter asks, (paraphrasing) "What is the most vivid memory you have of your school days? If you're like 95 out of 100 people, that memory revolves around your humiliation at the hands of a bully." (I have to paraphrase because my copy stays loaned out to fellow educators.) And what are the consequences of unchecked chronic bullying? At its most extreme: Columbine.
WOW! This book will pull at your heartstrings. If you are a teacher, if you have children, if you have been the victim of bullying or if you were a bully, this is a must read.
I've read a few Jodi Picoult books which have been a bit predictable. However, this book truly kept me engaged through the 450 pages. I had just about moved on from the author, but I will now be looking into move of her books. Enjoy!
Seeing as my son is going through some minor bully issues right now, this book kind of freaked me out, honestly *laugh*. It was a good book, standard Picoult stuff. This one felt like it might have been a little too long though and could have used a few cuts.
I did see the ending coming a mile away. I wonder if I've read too many Picoult books? LOL.
Disturbing perspective on a school shooting. Helps you understand events that may lead up to children that become killers. If bullying is a problem or has been a problem in your school or in your family you will want to read this.