One of Refinery29's Favorite Books of October 2019!
Award-winning author Laurie Petrou makes her YA debut with this atmospheric thriller exploring the addictive pull of revenge.
What you see isn't always what you get.
Stevie never meant for things to go this far. When she and Dee--defiant, bold, indestructible Dee--started all this, there was a purpose to their acts of vengeance: to put the bullies of Woepine High School back in their place. And three months ago, Stevie believed they deserved it. Once her best friend turned on her, the rest of the school followed. Stevie was alone and unprotected with a target on her back. Online, it was worse.
It was Dee's idea to get them all back with a few clever pranks, signing each act Love, Heather--an homage to her favorite 80's revenge flick. Despite herself, Stevie can't help getting caught up in the payback, reveling in every minute of suffering. And for a while, it works: it seems the meek have inherited the school.
But when anonymous students begin joining in, punishing perceived slights with increasingly violent ferocity, the line between villain and vigilante begins to blur. As friends turn on each other and the administration scrambles to regain control, it becomes clear: whatever Dee and Stevie started has gained a mind--and teeth--of its own. And when it finally swallows them whole, one will reemerge changed, with a plan for one final, terrifying act of revenge.
Petrou sheds light on mob bullying in a well-told tale of teenage revenge that pays homage to works such as Carrie and Heathers. Stevie, the 14-year-old girl who narrates this novel set in Woepine, Ontario, from Canadian author Petrou (Sister of Mine for adults), has just entered high school, "that melting pot of cool and cruel, that place that will change you for the better and worse." Stevie befriends Dee, a new student and one of the outcasts ruled by the "privileged dicks that roam the school... like medieval lords." Dee urges the bullied to fight back. At first, their pranks are innocuous: unflattering photos posted on lockers along with the words "Love, Heather." But soon these stunts take on a vicious tone, leaving Stevie to wonder: is it "the victims fighting back or a new many-headed bully-monster?" And before long, Stevie becomes the target of horrific social media intimidation as well as physical threats from classmates. The buildup to the shattering climax is a tad slow, but readers will keep turning the pages to see how the inevitable emotional explosion plays out. Ages 12 up.)