When Melinda Sordino's friends discover she called the police to quiet a party, they ostracize her, turning her into an outcast -- even among kids she barely knows. But even worse than the harsh conformity of high-school cliques is a secret that you have to hide. ~from Goodreads
I checked this book out when I first started reading YA, but never got the chance to finish it. Back then I was into the easier to read stories, simple and formulaic, boy meets girl, girl meets boy, something something something, they fall in love, the end. I ended up seeing the movie on TV and was blown away. I had to read the book. So I did. And I was not disappointed.
This is the story of Melinda Sordino starting high school as an outcast. Why is she an outcast? She called the police at a party, her friends freaked out, and now nobody talks to her. She had a reason why she called. Something happened to her. Something she doesn’t tell anyone about. Something she keeps bottled up inside of her. She stops talking. To everyone. Why should she speak? Her old friends have their own cliques now, and the new girl doesn’t stick around too long before getting a clique of her own. Melinda finds solace in art, where she is given the project of creating art from the word “tree”. As the school year progresses, she progresses slowly, learning to deal with school and her classmates and trying to deal with what happened to her.
I don’t want to say more, give away details or how it ends. Let me tell you this--the end and everything leading up to it goes to show that there’s always a way out. It may take months or years, but it’s there. You’ll never forget but you can continue. Melinda received help from people who care about her. There have been a lot of attempts at banning this book. There’s no reason to. NONE. Read this book. It will change your life.
Laurie Halse Anderson has a video of a poem she compiled from letters she received from people who read this book. It is remarkable. It made me cry. It shows how much one book can do for a person in pain. Click here to view the video. And the movie is wonderfully done. You should watch it after reading the book. Or watch the movie, then read this book.
But you should definitely read this book.