Bree has spent most of her time at school being the odd one out. She is 17 years old and very clever, not interested in fashion, popular culture and all the things that girls of her age usually are, and as a result she is deemed boring and not part of the ‘in crowd’. When she decides to do something about it, her only friend comes up with the idea of starting to blog about it. Bree also tries to be more interesting by having the same interests as her peer group at school. Gradually she begins to become more popular, but at what cost? There are times when it feels that a small fish is surrounded by a group of sharks. The consequences of Bree’s efforts are shocking but the author manages to provide an ending that gives everyone hope for the future.
This is a quite stark tale at times and it is definitely not for younger children; the publisher has put a parental advisory notice on the back, so 14+. I felt quite frustrated that a person of Bree’s age can find herself in this kind of situation, where she lacks that street sense that is becoming so important today. The author and the setting are in the UK, which means that there is a familiarity and understanding of the school environment. In a world where we are surrounded by social media, where being popular or a ‘celebrity’ is seen as really important it is good to hear Bree’s words to some of her tormentors ‘How pointless it is worrying all the time what people think of us?’ Definitely a book with a few lessons to teach us and although it is aimed at a female audience there are many things that teen boys could learn as well. It really makes you think about the world our young people are growing up in.