The premise of this book is interesting—Helen was betrayed by her best friend, Lauren, in a monumental way at the end of eight grade, which made the promise of starting high school as the local pariah a bit of a nightmare. But Helen gets lucky and her family moves out of state before that can happen, so she gets to start high school in a new place where nobody knows what she supposedly did.
The book doesn’t show the next three years, but we learn in summary that Helen never forgot what Lauren did, even for a second. She spent the whole time plotting different ways to get revenge. She stalked Lauren a bit so she knew everything that mattered to her. Lauren’s become a cheerleader, is one of the It crowd, is very proud of her relationship with a popular boy, and is very active in drama. When Helen gets shipped off back to the midwest to return to her old school—now as a senior—she has a real multi-step plan to get back at Lauren. Basically, she’ll figure out a way to take away the four thing Lauren cares the most about.
So the question becomes, “Is revenge worth it?”
I’m not going to claim that this is a super-deep, philosophical book, but it does take an honest look at this question. Because Lauren’s betrayal really was spectacular, and in retrospect, it’s also clear to Helen that she was never even a good friend at all. Helen was always second best. Helen’s grandmother counsels her against revenge, but she proceeds with her plan. It goes rather swimmingly for a while, until things get a little out of hand. It’s fun to watch Helen try to handle it as best she can, even not everything can be fixed. It’s also interesting to see whether or not Lauren is really redeemed in the end.
I think this might qualify as a nice summer read. I don’t really do summer reads because I am not a fan of heat and sun, but I think I know what it means. So, if you want an entertaining book, go for it.