A beautiful book that captures the cruelty of bullying and twists the story of two despondent kids into something exquisite. This is not the kind of story you turn to when you feel like reading something depressing or gloomy. It’s the kind of story you turn to when you feel like reading something enchanting and dreamlike; one about hope and brilliance and optimism. I think everyone should read this book. And that’s not only because of its great plot. Whether we admit it or not, all of us have insecurities and flaws. It’s not up to people to define us and suffocate us with labels, that’s up to us. Whether it’s your weight or your illness or a certain disorder, it can never limit your choice or span of friends or acquaintances. You don’t deserve less because you lack something others have; and vice versa. And I’m not very familiar with bullying; it’s not something that’s very common in the society I’ve been nurtured in, I think. And I know I sound naive, but it’s true. I’m pretty sure it happens to a lot of people, but it’s definitely not as severe as the bullying I’m used to reading about. But nonetheless, I’m sickened by the people who see bullying as some sort of amusement. And we should keep in mind that life is almost <i>never</i> black and white. Whether it’s the bully or the victim; we shouldn’t just view two victims as the same, or two bullies for that matter. Every person has their own conditions and circumstances. I’ve gone off point, but I think this book took me places I’ve never been. And I’m grateful for that.
Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.
Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.
Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.