‘Will we hold them forever, these hurts we bear from our teenage years?’
We have all at times been the victim of bullying, just the same as we have always at times been the bully. No! I hear you cry, I would never bully someone. True, I’m not saying you were one of the big, bad wolf ones, the popular ones or the good looking ones who ostracised everyone else or regularly tormented anyone. But you’re telling me you never laughed along with a joke at someone else’s expense, never played a trick on someone else or took part in what you thought was a practical joke? Passed along a bit of gossip or revelled in hearing it? We’ve all done it and you’re the bigger person if you can hold your hands up and admit it.
In 1989 Louise is just that herself. Bullied although she didn’t recognise it as such, she stands on the fringe of the ‘popular group’ in school, where she doesn’t fit in and half of the gang don’t even know her name. When the new girl Maria joins the school, Louise has the opportunity to make a real friendship, to finally belong. But Sophie the school bitch who keeps Louise around simply to make herself look better doesn’t like Maria and doesn’t want Louise having friends. Left helpless by peer pressure Louise turns from bullied to bully and along with her ‘gang’ makes Maria’s life a living hell.
Fast forward to 2016 and Louise gets a friend request on Facebook from Maria. But that can’t be right can it? Maria died that year at school under mysterious circumstances. Or did she really die at all?
This novel is highly gripping, especially for a debut novel you don’t really expect this kind of quality but it’s really, really engrossing. From the first page to the last I haven’t been able to put it down and I literally had no idea by the end!!
It’s the classic tale of revenge on the b*tches who made your life hell in high school but with a new and unique twist. Powerful and evoking I felt like It took me right back to my own school days, knowing what it was like to always be on the fringes. The sentence I’ve quoted at the top of this review really nailed it for me, because if Louise had asked me that question, my answer would definitely be yes.