Thank you to publishers and NetGalley for allowing me to read this prior to publication. A hard-hitting and topical read, that will probably appeal to teen readers.
Rosie is one of those girls it would be easy to hate. Pretty and popular, she is used to using her looks to get what she wants. Initially, she seems shallow and quite unlikeable and definitely not a good friend to Maddie. However, Maciel tries to show there’s more to Rosie than people realise.
After her best friend returns from a summer in Spain, Rosie is jealous of her new relationship. Sadly, she ends up in a situation she can’t control and feels alone after she is assaulted by her ex. There’s no graphic description of the assault, and alongside the current media focus on sexual harassment it’s important to get teen readers exploring just what constitutes assault. Sadly I think there’ll be many teen readers who will recognise what happens to Rosie as an all-too-familiar story, and all too many who will think Rosie is wrong to question what happens to her.
Sadly, the novel felt like a powerful idea that didn’t quite work out. I personally felt I got too side-tracked by the plots surrounding Sophie’s relationship with her sister, and her friendship with Alex. Throwing in a best gay friend story felt like too many bases were being covered to really explore any in depth.