A solid choice that will ignite meaningful discussion.

Gr 6-9-When Truly is invited to the popular table by her former best friend, Natasha, she is excited to finally get a chance at the “in” crowd. Unsure if she is really accepted by them, she worries about doing and saying the wrong thing. Popular Natasha is torn between being a good friend to Truly and being jealous of the attention that she gets. Meanwhile, Hazel, Truly’s current best friend, who is decidedly unpopular and anti-popularity, is hurt and angry at being abandoned by her friend. She seeks revenge by hacking into all of Truly’s online accounts. The addition of social media amplifies each snub, misunderstanding, and deliberate meanness. Although the characters’ interactions may, at first glance seem melodramatic, it is a realistic portrayal of middle school life. Truly is depicted as a complex young adult, not a single-minded social climber, while Natasha’s mean streak is the obvious product of questionable parenting. The other characters are multidimensional; they have struggles and worries, and are not the flat, stereotypical popular kids that are sometimes portrayed YA novels. As these young people navigate the already awkward world of middle school, the fact that accusations, rumors, and lies are made public for the world to see make adolescent mistakes much more grave. A solid choice that will ignite meaningful discussion.- Patricia Feriano, Our Lady of Mercy School, Potomac, MD (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.