Review: Hyacinth Girls by Lauren Frankel

hyacinth girls

Publisher: Crown Publishing
Publication Date: May 12th, 2015

Synopsis: A stunning debut about a young teenager on the brink and a parent desperate to find the truth before it’s too late.

Thirteen year old Callie is accused of bullying at school, but Rebecca knows the gentle girl she’s raised must be innocent. After Callie is exonerated, she begins to receive threatening notes from the girl who accused her, and as these notes become desperate, Rebecca feels compelled to intervene. As she tries to save this unbalanced girl, Rebecca remembers her own intense betrayals and best-friendships as a teenager, when her failure to understand those closest to her led to tragedy. She’ll do anything to make this story end differently. But Rebecca doesn’t understand what’s happening or who is truly a victim, and now Callie is in terrible danger.
This raw and beautiful story about the intensity of adolescent emotions and the complex identity of a teenage girl looks unflinchingly at how cruelty exists in all of us, and how our worst impulses can estrange us from ourselves – or even save us.

My Review:

One of the most memorable books that I have come across is probably Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.  Hyacinth Girls reminds me so much of that book, only much deeper.  This book, as well as a few other books about bullying and the drastic consequences that it has on its victims, tend to shed light on the issue, and give it the light it deserves so that more attention can be paid to it, and everyone can understand what a serious problem bullying is.

This book starts off with one of our main characters, Rebecca, being called away from work into the principal’s office of the fourteen year old girl she has guardianship over.  According to the art teacher, Callie walked over to her peer, Robyn, and threw red paint all over her.  Rebecca cannot believe that Callie would be this cruel, and Callie’s friends lie and say that Robyn dumped paint on herself to get Callie in trouble.  Things escalate from there, with notes showing up at Callie’s mother’s grave, at their apartment, and so on, and Rebecca’s and Callie’s stories come to light.  We don’t exactly find out what really happens until almost the end of the novel, but we are given bits and pieces of it throughout the book.  Between chapters are Callie’s interactions with Robyn, from memories to e-mails and instant messages.

I read this book in less than a day, because I was completely hooked and wanted to see what was going to come of Callie’s story.  It was a fast, enjoyable read that really left an impression.

Hyacinth Girls is a heartbreaking look at how bullying can affect pretty much everyone…and the harrowing depths that it can push those victims to.

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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