Seven students. Seven (deadly) sins. One secret.
Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—from Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage, to Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal.
When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame. For the seven unlikely allies at the heart of it all, the collision of their seven ordinary-seeming lives results in extraordinary change.
I received a free eARC copy of this book courtesy of ABRAMS Kids/Amulet Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
This book wasn’t an easy read, due to its 7 POVs saying it was slightly difficult to concentrate would be an understatement and at times the story itself felt disjointed. Albeit I loved how the individual stories eventually intertwined in my head, it’s just that it took a while for that to happen which ruined the majority of the first part of the novel; resulting in an atrociously long reading time…
I also found Juniper’s chapters slightly annoying and disjointed because of the verse in which they were written, although it did make her voice stand out among the others which, for me, didn’t have their own individual tones for some odd reason – which again just made it harder for me to differentiate as to whose POV I was actually reading.
But that isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy it – it dealt with some incredibly difficult issues; I mean, all 7 people were messed up in one way or another – and for the most part, they were likeable because they were incredibly real.
Sooooo many problems were dealt with in a blunt, yet somehow still a very conscientious way, and I appreciated the fact that there were so many of them, from ODing to slut-shaming, to of course, student-teacher relationships. Redgate truly explored a wide spectrum within her story leading me onto my next point…
May we just talk about the representation, both of sexual orientations, and social “standings” it was a realistic representation of life as many teenagers experience it, and I think the author deserves a lot of praise for that. I think she got high school pretty much spot on when it came to how she wrote it, whilst many authors try to present it as “the best time of your life” sort of fiasco, I think Redgate did a brilliant job at showing that whilst it may be for some, for others high school can pretty much mean hell. And of course, that for some indifferent people it’s just a tedious part of their lives that they have to get through.
I am most probably going to come back to this book in the future, to see whether I can connect with it better. So it has been successful in persuading me to give it another chance, but I hope that for those of you who read it in the future a second chance won’t be needed.
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
“You know what they say. Three things last forever: faith, hope and spite. And the greatest of these is spite.”