This book is about a girl named Valerie Leftman whose boyfriend commits a gruesome school shooting. What followed was the terrible fallout from that event. While it’s a well written book, it is painful even to read the opening chapters. You see the disintegration of Valerie’s personal life, her discrediting, and deep depression. To read of Valerie’s plight can be often very jarring, and quite disheartening. This doesn’t make this book a bad one. In fact, these gut-wrenching scenes are filled with compassion for Valerie’s troubles, but never sentimentality. I suppose it was to depict the harsh reality of school shootings. This book, for all its dark, depressing episodes, is lightened by the gallows humor of Valerie’s first person narration, but the eventual heartbreaking conclusion will leave readers feeling empty.
Grade: B
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