Hyacinth Girls by Lauren Frankel

Thirteen year old Callie is accused of bullying at school, but Rebecca knows the gentle girl she's raised must be innocent. After Callie is exonerated, she begins to receive threatening notes from the girl who accused her, and as these notes become desperate, Rebecca feels compelled to intervene. As she tries to save this unbalanced girl, Rebecca remembers her own intense betrayals and best-friendships as a teenager, when her failure to understand those closest to her led to tragedy. She'll do anything to make this story end differently. But Rebecca doesn’t understand what's happening or who is truly a victim, and now Callie is in terrible danger.

This raw and beautiful story about the intensity of adolescent emotions and the complex identity of a teenage girl looks unflinchingly at how cruelty exists in all of us, and how our worst impulses can estrange us from ourselves - or even save us.

I had a hard time putting this book down. It was very well written and the author has a way of making you really feel for everyone involved. 

I was the victim of bullying when I was in school and unfortunately, for the last two years as an adult. I am also a parent to two young children, one with Autism, so this book hit pretty close to home. I felt for Callie. I understood how at her age you could get mixed up with the wrong crowd and truly believe that your words had no impact on others. I also completely understand the need at that age to want to fit in. However, the part of the story that I really felt the most connected to was the worthlessness that the victims of bullying really feel and how it seems like no one believes you or wants to help you. I've been there.

The author also got the story spot on when it comes to the reactions of the parents involved. No one wants to believe or admit that their child could be that cruel to another person, but it happens. While this book is a work of fiction, it mirrors the real life epidemic that is cyber bullying. Once something is said or written online, it cannot be taken back. I think this book really is an eye opener for tweens, teens, and even adults. 


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