Review: Edge the Bare Garden by Roseanne Cheng

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So this book completely flew under my radar.  None of my friends have read it, it hasn’t been seen on any high profile lists…but for some reason it caught my eye.  The cover’s beautiful, without a doubt.  But the blurb is haunting and full of promise.

Agnes is an “Out.”  Not only does she not belong to any group at school, she often finds herself the object of everyone’s ridicule.  Some of the teasing is blatant, but most of it is subtle.  She doesn’t make things any easier with her reactions, though.  Rather than try to get along with the other kids, she seems to go out of her way to incite them.  Sure, she’s an easy target with her messy hair and weird clothes and strange mom and rundown house and all that.  But it does bother her.  And when the opportunity for revenge presents itself, she seizes it.  Suddenly everyone’s attention is focused on an anonymous blog. Every day they log on to see just which one of them is next to have their deepest darkest secrets revealed.  What will it take to stop Agnes, and just who can do it?

I loved this book for many reasons.  The subject matter is relevant and hugely important in today’s world.  The author deftly shows that everyone has something to hide, even those who are “Ins”.  And mostly, I loved that the story was told by a nameless somebody.  Just another student waiting to fall victim to Agnes’ wrath.  That nameless person could be anybody, and that’s the point of the story to me.

How far is too far when teasing is concerned?  What role does each person play?  Where does personal responsibility enter the picture?  And how easily could it be stopped if you just took the time to talk to someone?  These are all questions raised in this outstanding little sleeper novel.  Read it, give it to a teenager you love, and then talk about it.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Edge the Bare Garden

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