I really related to Melissa. Even though she is a 17 year old girl. I could completely understand where she was coming from. I was never teased in school, but I have always had incredibly low self esteem. So, it pained me to read her struggle with that. And I just found myself getting so angry that she allowed the people who had hurt her in the first place into her life so easily. I remember how High School and Middle school are, and it's just so sad that kids can be so cruel to each other. Then the ones who get hurt are still so eager to be a part of the crowd, so they allow the kids who hurt them into their lives if they want to be. There's a difference between forgiveness and just wanting to fit in. It was so refreshing to read about how Missy eventually started realizing things though and I really appreciated the growth that she went through in the book.
Josh is so mysterious at first. I wanted more of his character, and I still honestly would love to have a companion novel all about Josh and how he got where he is and why. Nicole Quigley, can you get on that for me? :) I disliked Sam from the beginning. I'm not saying he's a bad guy, but I just didn't want him anywhere near Missy. That's all I will say about that. I loved the relationship between Missy and her siblings. Even though they were dealt with a mother who was back and forth on things and make poor life choices, their love for each other really came through in the book. My heart ached for Robby. I won't give too much away, but reading about his downward spiral and seeing the clues were devastating to me.
This book is a fantastic read. The topics are relevant, the characters are relate able and the underlining message came through strong, but not overbearing. Nicole Quigley had me ready to seriously throw the book at the wall at one point and I thank her for that. I look forward to any other books she writes!