While Justin Timberlake said it best when he said, “What goes around comes around,” Life Unaware may illustrate it better than most YA books designed around the bullying message.

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While Justin Timberlake said it best when he said, “What goes around comes around,” Life Unaware may illustrate it better than most YA books designed around the bullying message.

I wasn’t really sure about Life Unaware when I picked it up.  The premise sounded like it might be something you read because it is good for you rather than because it is just good.  While it was a little like smothering the broccoli in cheese sauce, I was actually really pleased with this book despite the fact that it is about a topic that I am way over.  It is a book about bullying, but it this is a book from the perspective of a deceptively nice mean girl who gets trapped in her own net.  I hate girls like this, so I anticipated enjoying her fall from grace, but it just didn’t work out like that at all.  If you like contemporary high school plots thickened with a little revenge, this is a good pick. Also, if you are one of those nicey-nice mean girls, you should read this cautionary tale.

 

Life Unaware by Cole Gibson   Publishing on April 28, 2015  

Regan’s carefully crafted facade is ripped away when all her private messages are printed and distributed to the entire high school.  Now everyone knows just how ugly she really is on the inside, and no one is standing by her except for her ex-best friend’s freak of a brother, Nolan.  Regan realizes the person she has been isn’t the person she wants to be, and Nolan helps her come up with a plan to make amends.  But are people ready to forgive her? This was a fast and well written read with a hopeful and important message about the scars we leave when we live life unaware of our own words and actions.  Teen readers will appreciate the reality of the high school popularity hierarchy presented, and if they don’t relate to Regan at first, they will certainly develop some empathy for her by the end.  The plot manages to move the story forward and develop the relationship between Regan and Nolan at a believable pace.  I had some reservations about how things turned out in the end because it just wasn’t as realistic as I think the rest of the book was, but I think most readers will find it is satisfying.  Ultimately, this is a book I would feel good sharing with my high school students.  There is some mature language, but there is also a strong, positive message.  Four stars.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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