Putting her body in motion before her brain is in gear creates a mountain of problems for 12 year-old Ginnie West. She is certain that defending her twin brother, Toran, from the biggest bully in sixth grade was the right thing to do. But Ginnie couldn’t be more wrong.
She quickly figures out that Toran doesn’t appreciate being rescued by a girl any better than Charlie likes being knocked down by one. When Charlie seeks revenge on Ginnie, Toran sets aside his anger and helps her plot a playback prank at Charlie’s house.
Sadly, Ginnie learns that Charlie has a reason for being a bully when she sees his dad drop him to the floor like a ragdoll with one awful blow to the chest. Realizing he's a boy in big trouble, Ginnie switches gears and decides to be his ally, even if he won’t let her be his friend.
I have to admit that I actually read book 3 (Simply West of Heaven - review to be posted on February 27th) before I read this book (Book 2). This book was very different from the other two books. In the two other books the struggles that Ginnie, Toran, and Tillie face are more internal. Dealing with the confusion of Mama vs Step-mother, of not understanding why they aren't getting what they want, of dealing with family situations they didn't know they even had, or emotionally letting go of personal fears.
But in this book, there was the different perspective of the problem being an outside, non-family related issue. There was the need to stand up for each other and for their friends. It was a struggle to do what was right even when it was hard, and to look outside of themselves to find answers to other people's problems rather than their own.
I was really amazed at how Monique approached some very touchy subjects. The reality of the world today and of the scary things kids have to face is often a very hard topic to discuss. I was happily surprised to find that she was able to discuss this subject without glossing over the hard details, but while also allowing the reader to feel that there was a safe approach and protection for the characters who were hurt and scared. This book is definitely a good way to allow teens to acknowledge a topic that is easily overlooked due to awkwardness, and still allow them to end with a good feeling about the idea that there is hope and help for people who are in trouble.
I was really touched by this story and the lesson is taught about standing up for yourself and for others when the situation demands action. It also taught about forgiveness, kindness, humility, and love. I really was impressed with this book!
To learn more about Monique and her other books please see the following links:
Monique's blog: http://moniquebucheger.blogspot.com/,