Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Inspired by a real-life case of bullying and suicide, editor Maciel's debut novel depicts a harsh environment of name-calling, both face-to-face and via social media, and girls policing other girls' behavior. When new student Emma seems to have eyes for Sara's boyfriend, Dylan, Sara and her best friend Brielle label Emma a slut. Maciel isn't telling Emma's story-she's telling Sara's, in sections that alternate between the escalating bullying and the aftermath, with Emma dead and Sara stuck in summer school and her lawyer's and therapist's offices. It's hard to be with Sara as she insists that it's Emma's fault, that "No one hung the rope for her," but as Maciel reveals Sara's desperate efforts to hang onto a social viability that's tied to Brielle and Dylan, the pressures of her world become clear. It's to the author's credit that she doesn't make Sara immediately sympathetic, but the end, with Sara moving forward in a way that incorporates what happened rather than denying it, although welcome, feels rushed. Ages 14-up. Agent: Holly Root, Waxman Leavell Literary Agency. (May)? (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved