Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.
After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen year old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.
While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.
An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.
“Because this is where you are,” he said, as if it were obvious.’
This story was classified as YA, but I felt like that label is going to lose it some validity in exploring the story. This story was deep. So much was going through my head as I was reading, that I could barely even keep up with myself. On a more personal side, I am a teacher. While I teach middle school (ages 12-15), I still see so many adult problems cycling through their lives. Reading a book classified as YA, that they could get their hands on and see real, scary issues … this makes me overjoyed.
These two characters experienced something no person should live through. This event changed both of their lives, albeit in much different ways-one is pushed toward rebellion & one is pushed toward the straight & narrow. Seeing these dramatic changes in each character helped to shape the story into a resemblance of real-life.
What I loved about the story, besides the realness it presented, was each character’s personality. Both Edie & John are surrounded by several people, good and bad, to influence their lives. I enjoyed seeing these characters go through a bit of evolution as well, and would be more than intrigued to see more of these characters.
I think this is a great story. I feel like a story like this isn’t often explored in the age range of this novel, so it is unique in its reading. Although a *smidge* graphic at times, a great story for any YA crowd to experience for empathy & understanding how their actions have a snowball effect of reactions.