This novel is more a series of stories revolving around not only teens but one teacher. We see and feel the pain of not being accepted as 'good' enough by not only our peers but our parents. Also we feel the shame and embarrassment of how a couple teens live(their mother is a hoarder). Or the confusion that arises from dealing with sexuality. Add to that the teacher who really wanted her high school classes to be more like a modern day TO SIR WITH LOVE but instead they resent her for taking over the class of the former teacher who met with a tragic end.
All of the characters do share one thing: either they or someone else gave them the bird. Their reactions vary but all the stories cumulate into the final story that shows that under all the negativity, defend, and sadness there might be a hidden grain of hope.
I loved the story behind the inspiration for this novel. Who hasn't been flipped off? Knowles takes one crude gesture and spins her magic to create a novel that is sure to resonate and stay with you.
A must read for Knowles fans and those who love engaging, heart-felt stories with realistic characters that give us a glimpse not only into their worlds but our own.