I've read 3 of Halse's books now and I have to say of all three, Speak, Catalyst and Prom, this is my least favorite. Perhaps it's because I didn't feel she was part of the world she was writing about. I felt that some of the lower class background was more of a foreign subject to her. The other 2 novels were set in a middle to upper middle class backgound and those books seemed to flow much better. I did think it was a unique plot idea though.
The main character is someone who you wish you could leap into the pages and give advice to. I keep wanting to throttle her and tell her to stay away from her boyfriend, maximize her potential, and not move out once she graduates high school. I feel she's just a step away from being pregnant and on welfare if she stays on the track she's on. So the book did hit me emotionally.
Overall, this is a book that I would only recommend to older readers. Some of the subject matter is a bit mature (not that it's overly sexual, it's just something a younger reader might not grasp as well), and would be better appreciated by an older audience.