I received a copy from Netgalley.
A tough, but interesting read that touched on a number of issues I've not come across before in YA fiction. There are probably lots of YA books that focus on a number of the things raised in this novel, but this is the first one of its kind that I have read.
Difficult in its subject matter, but enjoyable by the end. There were a few things about it that irritated me a little and seemed rather unbeliable. Generally, it was good to see a lot of adult involvement and parental involvement when a nude picture of the fifteen year old main character Polarity appears on the Internet and the students in her class bully her about it.
Polarity is a reasonably likable character, thrown into absolute chaos when this picture surfaces. I thought she handled each horrible situation with a huge deal of maturity, particularly with a very difficult family situation. Her mother has a boarder line personality disorder and while at times Mom really goes out to bat for her daughter, other times she's a nightmare. None of the school officials seem to want to believe that Polarity really knows nothing about the picture and seem ready to believe the worst about her. It seemed like one terrible thing after another, when something started looking up, things would take a turn for the worst. An emotional ride throughout.
Rounded, well thought out characters with both good and bad personality flaws. A believable romance (no insta love, yay!) Though one of the things that irritated me every time it came up was issues with race.
At one point when Polarity is removed from her home by Child Protective Services and placed in a safe house for the night she's very scared and comforted by one of the girls living there who she doesn't really see as its dark and there are no lights turned on. Then in the morning she meets the girl in the kitchen with the other residents and is stunned to find she's the only white girl. And someone actually says they don't believe white girls get in "the system" much.
This irrated me greatly. I don't believe for a second any fifteen year old girl would not know about, or at least have a vague idea about "the system". Of course white people are going to be in the damn system! I nearly DNFed it right there on that point, but as it wa sonny 11% in when I got to that bits last night, I figured this morning I'd give it another shot. The book did get much better. And I finished the rest of the book in one sitting.
Though I did notice this whole annoying white privileges thing is something that comes up a lot throughout the novel, and Polarity is very affronted by it, though her parents don't seem to see why. Another point someone is using the N word and Polarity does a damned good job of putting that boy right in his place for using that awful word. And she also realizes that there are lots of things about this type of issue she has never thought about before and it makes her become more aware and resolve to try and do something about it.
Polarity goes through quite a journey and comes out as a strong together character. The mystery didn't actually turn out the way I thought it would in the end, so it came as a surprise when the answers were finally revealed. For a lot of the time I thought it was going to turn or out to be one of those terrible things where you would never know who was responsible for the picture and the hell Polarity goes through is never resolved but does at least teach her some valuable life lessons and makes her a stronger person because of it. Even though she never did anything wrong.
While I did find some this about it annoying, it was a very good read in the end. Emotional and difficult, but good to see some important issues touched on.
Thank you to Netgalley and Red Adept Publishing for approving my request to view this title.