WHAT I THOUGHT:
There is nothing more heartbreaking than someone so young having to grow up way too fast. Michelle "Chell" Whitney a thirteen year old in eighth grade who knows this all too well. This is a devastating tale of a young girl trying to just simply live only to be dealt what most thirteen years olds should not have to deal with. This is a tale about love, neglect, sex and death.
Chell's home home life isn't easy, with a father who is always drunk and a mother who is always out working trying to make ends meat, Chell has had to grow up and fast. So instead of hanging out with friends and going to parties Chell is the one to clean the house everyday from her father's drunken antics and wash the family clothes on weekends just so her mother can get a some rest. So when the new junior, Troy walks into Chell's life she instantly finds solace from all that has been brought up to torment her.
"He looked up only once and, by the smirk on his wide full lips, i knew id been caught staring. It didn't really matter. i'd fallen instantly and obsessively in love, but not the kind of teenage drama crap you might expect. No, this was the real soul-wrenching kind of love. I'd never be the same again"
Troy not realising his mistake befriends Chell and invites her to hang out with him to meet his new friends not realising she is somehow hopelessly "in love" with him. I find the relationship between the two to be an unusual one, the signs are quite heavy between the two of them leaving Chell to be left ultimately distraught when Troy starts dating the beautiful, alternative Xiu.
In the end it is Troy's selfish actions that tip Chell over the edge even after she was told that it probably would not end too well... for her.
"Look I love the kid, but he's an ass. He's a seventeen-year-old boy- he has no choice but to be an ass..."
From the get go Chell has been taken advantage of and not just by her parent's but by someone who she should feel she would be safe with and this is where the story gets a bit sore. Sometimes we forget that Chell is just a thirteen year old girl, how she acts and they way her parents seem to not worry about her whereabouts i would say this girl is living the life of someone who should be in college. So when we find out that her teacher, Mr Harris has been taking advantage of her we almost don't process that Mr Harris is in fact a pedophile.
I don't particular read books that have situations / acts of pedophillia but the way Parvarti writes the scenes and the way she portrays Chell as a character almost softens the blow.
What is most upsetting is when she is with Mr Harris the way she speaks to him and the way she feels that she is in control and has a choice in what she gives and receives should not be the mind of someone so young. Mr Harris and a brilliant manipulator and acts almost like he has a split personality filling the void of the father she most desperately needs and the lover she so desperately wants.
"Mr Harris ran his hand up and down his thighs, his breathing strained. Seeing him like that, holding back but almost in pain from what I did, thrilled me. I was important. I was wanted."
Chell's scars aren't only internal but also physical, we don't know how long for but we know that Chell self harms to escape the pain of life, sucoming to the nnumbness she feels when she see her blood drop to the floor tiles. Some people go through life neglecting, judging and even mocking situations like Chell's and are too afraid to intervene or help, putting up a wall so girls and boys like Chell feel like they can't ask for help, even when that help has finally been extended to them.
This book covers a lot of heartache and the ending left me in such a shock it will forever be stuck in my head. I give this book a rating of 5*. Be warned though this book is not for the lighthearted you will be left feeling like you've just been punched in the stomach.
The cover art fits this book perfectly, with the warm tones of magenta and red we see the combination of the love, lust, anger, death just by the colour pallet. The model fits the bill brilliantly, the model is young and beautiful with big doe eyes which can tell a story. The cover almost feels quite grown up ad quite harsh until were thrown that little bit on innocence with the lollipop.