22 November 2013
Weber, Lori. Picture Me. James Lorimer & Company, 2013.
This book starts with a fairly typical school scenario: a popular girl teases an unpopular girl, which causes one of the unpopular girl's friends to snap and start a fight. All three miss school for a week or more. What's different is that this book switches between the different viewpoints: the bully, the victim, and the bystander. The reader is shown the back story of each character and how they react to the bullying incident and the ensuing fight. It's an interesting take on an old story, and one that probably needs to be told.
It took me a while to get into this story. The characters' viewpoints switch fairly often, and while I am used to reading books with two narrators, three is a bit of a stretch for me. Fortunately, each character's name is listed at the beginning of her section, so it's easier to figure out who's talking. It also took me a long time to feel any sympathy for the bully in the story, even though it was obvious I was supposed to pity her from the beginning. I was more concerned with the victim in this situation; she seemed to be in need of some very serious assistance, help that she was not getting at home. This is obviously a very timely topic, and it is good to be reminded that even bullies might have other issues they're dealing with. I would probably purchase a copy of this book for my library.
Recommended for: tween and teen girls
Red flags: one of the characters becomes anorexic and takes diet pills to lose weight, almost killing herself; one of the characters (age 14) starts dating an older (20s) boy who delivers pizzas and deals drugs - she goes to a party where there's alcohol, and it's hinted that she's raped, although it's not explicitly stated
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley for the purposes of review.