This book was pretty good. So glad I read it. I would have most likely given it a 5 star rating if it wasn't for the fact that I wasn't really shocked by the things the characters did to the main character Regina. Yes, they were horrifying, but I've seen a lot in my life so it's hard for me to be shocked by a lot of things. Life is harsh. It always has been.
But man oh man, did this bring back memories. Got me to do a lot of thinking. Things that I've done in the past, things that were done to me. Let me just say though that I went to urban schools before heading off to college. Things are done differently there. You have a problem with someone you argue or you fight. I remember there being countless fights in school. Fights happened several times a week. People would drop their book bags and jump over the lunch tables to run to wherever the fight was occurring. Fights could happen in any place at school. It always pissed me off. I thought it was so stupid to fight. Especially because a lot of the time, fights were started for stupid reasons. Like if you bumped into someone, they might get mad enough to punch you and then a fight would break out. Or what I hated the most. When people decided to jump people because they were white or because they were Guatemalan and Puerto Ricans were so much "better." -_- Seriously, always pissed the crap out of me. The injustice of it. The stupidity of it. Filled me with so much hate. I hated almost everyone. It seems like I have always hated most of humanity. Don't want to sound so negative, but it's true. But I fight against the hate inside all the time.
Anyway, what I hated most, what was worst than the hate in some aspects, was feeling alone. Being left alone. I could totally relate to Regina in that sense. It made me mad, especially because no one wanted to listen to her when she was trying to explain what happened and instead she got shunned. It's like people let themselves get ruled by their emotions instead of their minds. Mind over emotion, make better choices. In my opinion anyway. And yes, Regina did a lot of bad things to people. I understand why people didn't even want to bother with her anymore. Sometimes you really do reap what you sow. But what made me angry is the weakness of all of this. Everybody in this book was pretty much weak. The fear of being alone. Yes being alone sucks. It hurts. It marks you. But being driven to do these cruel things just to belong? Just to drive the alone away? Just to show "loyalty" to your "friend?" Just to feel fabricated love? No thank you. I rather be alone, than live a lie. I have always felt this way for what seems like forever and it always frustrated me when people didn't see this. Like in my school, the norm was to be into hip hop, rap, etc. It was weird to like rock and vampires and reading, etc. things which I was into. Still am into. People didn't want to talk to me and they would laugh at me. And not just that, but I have never really felt like I belong anywhere. My parents are Guatemalan and there are a lot of Guatemalan people in this city and to a lot of them I'm a "fake" Guatemalan because of how I am. Not that I care anymore about belonging, but why do things have to be this way? Why do a lot of people have to be so weak and not accept that things can't all be the same? Why do people have to hurt other people because of that?
Though I know the things Regina did throughout the book to get back at the other girls was wrong, I'm glad she did it. She was a bitch herself in the past, but at the same time by doing these things she was sort of standing up for herself. That made me glad. She wasn't going about it quite the right way, but at least she was trying. And I'm glad she wasn't trying to be their friend again because really those weren't friends. It frustrates me when people let themselves get beaten and they just take it all because they want friends. Just can't live that way.
Another thing that I really liked about the book was that we saw how all the things Regina did in the past were hurting her. How she had already been suffering before she got shunned. Not just mentally and emotionally, but also physically. I think the author captured these things really well. I could connect to it. Hate is damaging. To live with hate, to hurt others, not only damages those you are hurting, but also yourself. It kills you inside. Leaves you in a deep pool of never ending blackness. Blackness that chokes you. Blackness that you can't swim away from. I speak by experience.
Middle school was one of the worst times in my life. My friends sucked. My best friend sucked even more. They ignored me all the time because I was quiet and had different interests. Somehow because I was quiet, it meant it was ok to not really talk to me because I apparently didn't care. Which obviously wasn't true. But my best friend didn't listen to me when I told her. She laughed in my face when someone I cared about died. She yelled a lot because I sucked in gym even though I always tried. She only cared about winning. She would get mad when I didn't want to give her the answers to our math work or w/e. She hurt other friends too, but somehow they put up with it. I guess because they were the smart, good girls, they decided not to beat the crap out of her. I don't know. Finally, I got tired of her, of them, of everyone. I hated everyone. I decided to change. I wasn't going to put up with it anymore because they were never going to change. But since I was a smart, good girl, there was no way I was going to ruin my reputation. It was important to me because I felt it was what was going to help me succeed in life. And I didn't want to get in trouble and just like they stood there watching me get hurt, I wanted to watch them get hurt. Long story short I came up with a lot of plans to hurt them. Especially my best friend. The plans all worked well. And it made me laugh because they never knew it was me and some came to me for help. It was draining me though. I was tired. It made me sick. The more I hurt people, the more I hurt. It wasn't guilt, but more like an emptiness. Blackness that I couldn't get away from. Was this really the type of life I was going to live until I died? Hurting people to get revenge? Defending people by hurting those who were hurting them? Wasn't that self righteous? Was it all really necessary? Was this the only way? No.
I know I spent a lot of the time talking about me, but I felt it was necessary to connect it to the book. This book was powerful and realistic. I recommend it to everyone. Anyone who is interested in the subject of how girls deal with their problems should read Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls. It's a psychology book that gives good insight on these problems and how to help girls deal better with their anger.
Oo and just wanted to share this youtube vid with you all. Feel like it kinda goes with all of this. http://youtu.be/YSVtC_NT1H0