A stunning debut about a young teenager on the brink and a parent desperate to find the truth before it’s too late.
Thirteen year old Callie is accused of bullying at school, but Rebecca knows the gentle girl she’s raised must be innocent. After Callie is exonerated, she begins to receive threatening notes from the girl who accused her, and as these notes become desperate, Rebecca feels compelled to intervene. As she tries to save this unbalanced girl, Rebecca remembers her own intense betrayals and best-friendships as a teenager, when her failure to understand those closest to her led to tragedy. She’ll do anything to make this story end differently. But Rebecca doesn’t understand what’s happening or who is truly a victim, and now Callie is in terrible danger.
This raw and beautiful story about the intensity of adolescent emotions and the complex identity of a teenage girl looks unflinchingly at how cruelty exists in all of us, and how our worst impulses can estrange us from ourselves – or even save us.
Hyacinth Girls was another book that I chose to read because I found the cover interesting. Fortunately, the content of the book was equally as compelling.
The story centres on Rebecca’s relationship with her godchild Callie. Having raised Callie from a young age due to the death of both of her parents Rebecca finds that as Callie gets older the less that Rebecca knows about parenting.
Things take a turn for the worse when Callie is accused of bullying. Not wanting to believe that Callie could do this Rebecca becomes defensive and protective only to be faced with shocking consequences.
What is really special about Hyacinth Girls is that Lauren Frankel understands of the cruelty of school children. She accurately describes the torment that can take place in the school environment. Frankel brilliantly keeps the reader on their toes throughout the book and constantly pulls the rug from under your feet. With each chapter you develop an opinion only to have it kyboshed in the next.
You see how difficult it can be for both of the protagonists and you empathise greatly with them both. You also see the shocking behaviour people can (and do) display over social media. Dealing with some dark and disturbing issues makes Hyacinth Girls definitely an interesting multilayered read.
Hyacinth Girls by Lauren Frankel is available now.