What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Friday, February 3, 2012

Spread Love, not Hate


Spread <3, Not Hate is an event hosted by authors K.C. Neal and K.M. Parr, to stop the spread of bullying. Bullying happens everywhere. To kids, to adults, at home, school, work and in cyberspace. A lot of people have been victims of bullying at some point in their life, and it's time for this abuse to stop. It's time for people to step up when they see or hear of someone being bullied and say something. If we fight back against bullying, maybe we can make a change in someone's life. Never forget that it is a small group of people who can change the world.

There are a lot of books out there that tackle the subject of bullying. In honor of Spread <3, Not Hate, I decided to read and discuss the book Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers, which deals with bullying in a high school setting.







Here is the summary of Some Girls Are from Goodreads: Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard--falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High... until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around. Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend... if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don't break them both first.

In Some Girls Are, Regina Afton starts as the second in command of the feared and revered popular clique of girls at Hallowell High School. But after another member of the group stabs her in the back, she becomes public enemy number one. All of the torment and torture Regina and her friends have inflicted on the less popular students in their school is now turned back on her, tenfold.

This book takes a rather unique look at this jungle-like atmosphere. Regina knows what's coming from her "friends" and she fights back. She bullies them as much as they bully her, though each time it breaks her down a little further. Regina understands that with the lengths she's gone to to hurt people, there can't be a forgive and forget. But slowly, she does begin to change and her selfishness melts away.

I hate characters that are mean simply for the sake of being mean, which it seems like many of these characters are. I felt sympathy for Regina when it came to some of the things that Anna and her minions were doing to her, but it is hard for me to conjure much sympathy for her "friends." Herein lies the brilliance of Miz Summers' writing. In my heart, when I separate people from action, bullies vs. bullied is a good vs. evil, black-and-white kind of issue. But Miz Summers reminds readers that you can't separate the actions from the person. Is it possible there is a gray area? Can you honestly say that a bully being bullied is getting what she deserved?

This book is edgy, honest, and downright scary at times. To believe that there are people that treat others the way that, and that there are people out there who live in the constant state of fear that Regina finds herself in, who are overwhelmed with loneliness and sadness, this astounds me. And it reminds me once again that events like this one, Spread <3, Not Hate are important. No one should have to suffer at the hands of a bully. So let's take a stand to stop all bullying once and for all. 

For some other YA fiction books that examine bullying, check out these titles:
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr
Bystander by James Preller (middle grade)
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Piccoult

Please visit these other wonderful authors and bloggers who are participating in Spread <3 Not Hate!

6 comments:

  1. I love how you have used a book to point out this issue! awesome idea.
    thanks courtney

    http://melissa-justoneopinion.blogspot.com/2012/02/spread-not-hate.html

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  2. Great post!! I am so happy to see that so many people have joined in this blog hop too!

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  3. Melissa - Thanks! There is so much great fiction out there that takes a stand against bullying, I felt it needed a shout out!

    Amy - I know! I'm so happy to see so many people standing up against bullying!

    Courtney

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  4. Im going to have to check this book out and your right, NO one should have to suffer at the hands of a bully! Take the pledge against bullying at the bottom of my page if you get the chance!

    http://shadowkissedcassie.blogspot.com/2012/02/spread-love-not-hate-blog-hop-stand.html

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  5. What a great post! I think this social "freezing out" is one of the most under-recognized forms of bullying because it's not overt. I see it among adults a lot. Thanks so much for joining in and blogging! <3

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  6. Cass - Thanks for stopping by! I'm going to definitely go sign the pledge!

    K.C. - Thank you for hosting this event. I'm so glad to see so many people talking about this topic!

    Courtney

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