Chris H. (Wauwatosa, WI)
This book was certainly a page turner, but nothing more. I could not connect with the characters, the storyline was all over the place and the story in itself overdone.
Carol G. (Little Egg Harbor, NJ)
I thought the book was well written and I especially like that in a debut novel. I especially liked the honesty the author portrayed with the "trio:" I loved what the author accomplished portraying high school experiences which some of us may have encountered. Though I did not experience any of the "bullying", it was an eye opener for me and I can feel for those students who have gone through this. I think anyone who reads this book will get something out of it!
Jinny K. (Fremont, CA)
Mean and Scary
First, this book is extremely well written. The sense of place and atmosphere are vividly depicted and the characters are well-drawn and true to themselves. The story may be accurate in some time and place, although I never experienced this extreme behavior as a high school student in the sixties. As a portrait of unmitigated meanness, I found it almost as disturbing as Lord of the Flies, and for that reason alone I'm not sure I would want to read such a book again.
Nicole S. (Woodbury, MN)
It wasn't for me
Not because it wasn't well written- in fact it was vivid and at times so gripping that I felt uncomfortable.
I did not like the subject matter, I did not like the characters. That does not make it a bad book, it just was not right for me.
Betty T. (Warner Robins, GA)
Thank God I'm Not in High School Now!
At first I did not care for this book. It took a while for it to hook me. The author took his time developing the characters and it paid off. As I read I started caring about these kids. The title is definitely appropriate. Some of these kids were brutal and some had to become brutal to survive. The administrators of the school were appalling. I can't imagine how it would be to attend a school like this - and this was a private school! For some of the kids their life at home wasn't any better than their school life. The administrators and teachers looked the other way and sometimes were just as brutal as the kids. Father Mercedes had his own agenda for the school which was required to cover his embezzlement of funds.
I don't quite understand why the author referred to the males always by their last names (Davidek, Stein, Green, LeRose, Zimmer) yet the females were always first name (Lorelei, Hannah, Audra) except for Ms. Bromine.
The writing was very good. As I already mentioned, the character development was very good. Even though there are a lot of characters I was able to keep them all straight.
The author took his time in revealing the depravities of the various characters so you are not slapped in the face with it all at once. The book is not light reading but it is eye opening. I don't know if I would survive in a school like St. Mike's.
Julie M (St Paul, MN)
This book did hold my interest until the end, but I was amazed once again the awful things people will do to one another in order to feel better themselves. Why do we join in even when we know it is absolutely the wrong thing to do? This book explores the need to be accepted at all costs and while adults would like to think that we evolve out of that as we age, this book shows us we carry that baggage right along with us into adulthood. It takes someone very courageous to go against the majority for good. It's much easier to go along to get along.
Emily B. (Hinsdale, IL)
I want more!
I did not want to finish this book. I love the characters and how well high school was brutally portrayed with loyalties, betrayals, alliances and pride. Who can you trust? Who can you love? And who will always be there by your side, even from afar. How far can an individual be pushed before they reach their ultimate limit?