A few months ago I had read a book called 13 Reasons Why and I told you how amazing it was. I am a sucker for books that hook me in immediately with a story line I can relate to. I think everyone likes to read a book you can identify with with just a hint of something extra. So when I was given the opportunity to review this next book, I jumped at it because I felt like it would have the same impact for me.
And I was right.
Your, Anonymous by Peter David Orr
When Ashley White, a “geek” to many of his peers, develops a nervous crush on one of Franklin High School's most popular girls, he makes the decision to express his feelings through love letters, cards and poetry... never imagining his words could kill.
YOURS, ANONYMOUS is about good intentions gone wrong. It is a story of how an innocent crush can become "stalking" and "creepy" when the unknown, cliquishness, and envy come together at the wrong time and in lethal proportions.
What makes this book so good, for me, was that you are immediately hooked. It's a short book of only 77 pages so I got this done in about an hour. I really had a hard time putting it down so I could switch over laundry and feed the cats, it was that good.
Raise your hand if you ever had a crush, particularly in high school. Yeah, that would be pretty much all of us who aren't embarrassed to admit it. Now, raise your hand if it was a crush on a "popular" person and you weren't popular? At least half of you are still raising your hands. This story is so easy to relate to because most of you have been there, you like a person but you don't have the confidence to really say anything to them, so maybe you start with little notes. The harsh reality is that kids are cruel and unpopular kids just know to do their best to not give anyone fuel to ridicule them.
Unfortunately for Ashley, he was "discovered" and a couple of mean kids blew it out of proportion. It also highlights that high school kids don't have the natural logic required to really understand what consequences could come with harmless pranks. In this case, Ashley loses his life, much to the upset of Mary Ellen Gerhard. She is a fellow student who has turned her senior project into an investigative look at Ashley's death and the events leading up to it.
Particularly interesting is that the entire story is written as a series of interviews she conducted in her investigation. I don't want to talk about what happens, but I will say that the different personality types of the students completely fit for what you'd expect happens. It's a short read, it's well worth it, and if you are one to read books on bullying- add this to your list.