Readers are sure to relate with seventeen-year-old Bree Hughes as she gets to be on the Prom court only after one person declines after being nominated as a 'joke'. Maisey has been the butt of bullying since elementary school. Bree struggles with guilt as she never went out of her way to stand up against the bullying. When Maisey kills herself? This sends Bree into panic attacks. These attacks felt real as does the guilt and conflict she deals with after Maisey's death.
Bree's attraction to football player Sean isn't filled with anguish especially after he reveals the truth about himself. The dialogue between these two is humorous and there is a spark of chemistry that continues throughout the novel.
One plus of this novel has to be how the masks the so-called 'In' kids wear are torn off to reveal the truths. Even Mean Girl Jane has a vulnerability that readers see toward the end of the novel. The party scene where the Prom committee come together is real and honest.
What I did have issues with had to be the whys behind Maisey killing herself. It's not revealed until the last chapter. I felt that the story skidded over the tragedy of Maisey's suicide and instead focused on all the drama behind Prom. It almost felt as if Maisey's death is pushed aside so more of the high school drama can unfold. And there's lots of drama.
Saying this, I know that everyone grieves in different ways. Bree's panic attacks come right after the death. Still, overall, I think the whole suicide part of this story was brushed aside. I personally feel it would have been better to address right at the start and not only at the very end of the novel. But that's just my opinion.
Dark coming-of-age story that addresses sensitive topics such as bullying and suicide while set behind a Prom background.