Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I sped through this book and had a hard time putting it down. The events were kind like watching 48 hours or a crime scene, unsolved mystery, 60 minutes about teenagers all rolled into one. Robin Wasserman wove a tale of dark reality was that was to believe was non-fiction while I as immersed within the pages.
Hannah Dexter aka Dex, and Lacey both live on the fringes of the high school social scene. Did I say fringes... what I meant was that they don't fit in for vastly different reasons. Hannah, because she harbors a lot of feelings of injustice and just doesn't have the right look, and Lacey because she is the new girl in a small town, who brings big city Grunge attire and an extreme obsession with Kurt Cobain (the book is set in the early 90s). Lacey takes Hannah and gives her new confidence as she becomes Dex, the trusty sidekick. A hatred of the ultimate mean girl Nikki bonds them together in a girlhood crush on life and hating anything the "plebs" may deign to do or like.
I can honestly say that on the outside look in, that EVERY one of these characters is despicable in some way. Probably Lacey's mom the most for me, with the small glances we get into her selfish thoughts towards motherhood that made me want to beat the crap out of her. Nikki was a CLOSE CLOSE second, especially with the "sleepover" incident.
There is a lot of harsh realities of small town, overly religion, teenage life on these pages. A lot of topics that parents don't ever want to think about happening to their child or have their child out doing. Unfortunately, we can all hide under the blanket of suburbanite life or we can face the fact that things like this will happen to some kids. I wanted to smother my child and home-school him after reading this.
**Sensitive topics such as drug use, underage drinking, "satanic" rituals, rape, emotional abuse and death do occur in this book so be prepared.
With all of the horrors found within, this is also a book that feels so real it is scary. Such as the author either personally experienced these horrors from some point or was privy to someone who did. The book is written that fantastically that to give it anything less would be a travesty... 5 stars for me.
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