Title: Cascading Petals
Author: Jane C. Brady
Genre: YA? Romance
Release Date: December 7, 2017
My Rating: 4 stars
Synopsis: A senior in high school is a loner, bullied all her years of school. She has no friends, and no allies to turn to. The new boy proves not to be so shallow, and they become friends, showing Jewel that she is not alone, and even strong enough to help others that feel they’re in the same kind of place.
My Thoughts: By the end, I really loved this book. It took a bit at first to be hooked. I felt, at the beginning, that the situation we are dropped into, with a senior in high school being so severely bullied, for seemingly no reason, was a bit unrealistic.
Jewel is constantly bullied all her years of school. This is despite her being beautiful, smart, and coming from a good, healthy family, and a large enough school, that not everyone knows everyone else. In small schools, I can *maybe* see a situation like this (at the start of the book, Jewel’s status in school) happening, but I feel it’s very unlikely. There’s seemingly NO reason for anyone to not like this girl! She’s written this way purely to make the plot work. After the first quarter to third of the book, the cheesiness and unrealistic details are finally not so prominent, and it gets much better.
One thing that irks me a bit is this “insta friend/love-ship” desire. The new boy initially runs into her at a coffee shop by accidentally grabbing her coffee, instead of his own, and taking a drink of it. He immediately apologizes, buys her a new one, and while waiting, he asks a total of 4 questions, 2 of which concerned the coffee. The other 2 were about if she went to the local high school, and if he’d see her around later. All of which she was very stand offish, and answered with short, one word answers, and left. Anyone else would have written it completely off and figured nothing of it, but for some reason, he’s *enthralled with this gorgeous girl* and can’t stop thinking of her. Pah-lease. AND THEN, the barista just informs this random stranger of her full name!!! On the first day of school, when they run into each other, they make easy, joking conversation like they’re friends already. They just come into that easy friendship way too easily and quickly for reality. And I don’t know why, but I did not like it at all. ANYways…
There are **MAJOR TRIGGERS** for bullying and suicide, also a little self harm.
For my minimal knowledge in such subjects, I feel like this book does a really good job of showing how bullying can affect teenagers, and how that alone, just words or direct injury, can lead someone to committing suicide. It also covers, at least a little bit, how suicide is a selfish thing that doesn’t consider the pain of those on the outside goes through, afterwards.
I received this ARC from NetGalley for free, in exchange for an honest review.