My main problem with this book is the hypocrisy of the narrator, Kiera Graves. She, along with her little group of friends, is an outsider at her high school because of her music choices, manner of dress, etc. She rails against being judged for being different, and says, “we don’t think that being closed-minded about people, ideas, or music is very smart.” Yet throughout the whole book, she makes harsh judgement of others and is essentially “closed-minded” about them. She mocks both students and teachers. The other students are judged as either shallow, stuck-up jocks and cheerleaders or as outcasts such as herself. There was no middle ground. There were very few authentic-seeming characters.
Even worse, near the end of the book, Kiera turns her judgement on two guys who have been part of their little group, by criticizing their restaurant manners and claiming “you can’t take them anywhere” and “maybe they’ll get girlfriends who can help train them a bit”. While such a judgement could be made in a more supportive way, Kiera’s internal voicing of these thoughts came across as petty. So, I wanted to like Kiera, but I really struggled with her.
The music references also got a bit old. We get it: she and her friends are into music. But we don’t need to hear about it over and over and over and over...what posters are on the walls or that she is wearing her “Skinny Puppy” t-shirt, etc. (And come on, Ms.LeDonne, trashing Bon Jovi? Really. :) )