Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Karole Cozzo
Publisher: Swoon Reads
At the beginning of her big senior year, Nikki has been expelled from her high school for bullying. Some spiteful photographs displaying another student's bad decisions at a party were posted onto Nikki's Facebook, but Nikki swears she didn't do it. Having everyone in the town hate you, including your own family, brings new trials that Nikki begins to learn painful lessons from. At her new school, nobody wants to talk to her except another girl who is rejected by the popular students. And a new romance begins between Nikki and a paraplegic who also knows what it's like to have to change your whole life after a traumatic incident. Slowly, Nikki rebuilds her life and begins to find herself again. Not her old self, but a new Nikki--more confident in her own abilities and less reliant on the approval of other groups for self esteem.
This book is interesting as it is written from the point of view of the bully. As the victim is hardly referred to, Nikki's story helps a reader understand the potential underlying reasons behind bullying. A reader can learn that behind the hard outer-shell, bullies are people with emotions too. This story outlines the way Nikki finds herself again, which is touching for the reader to see her become something new with the help of a young man with his own disabilities. The pair help one another and show readers that being yourself is much better than fitting in with any crowd. Another underlying theme is parent-child relationships. Nikki's relationship with her parents takes a lot of time to heal, but eventually, with baby steps, a new relationship between them is formed.
*Contains sexual content and language.