***** 4 1/2 Painful Stars *****
Even though this is a story about a 13 year old boy in middle school, it is in no shape or form a book for Young Adults.
I didn't know what to expect when I first wanted to read this book. I added this book months ago after I read "Held" by the same author. I was blown away by "Held" but "Rage" floored me ----- absolutely floored me.
I was warned by several people to skip this book because I tend to be too emotional when reading certain stories, but I decided to trudge on and give it a try. And how happy I am about that, not because of "feel good" moments or a "happily ever after" but because it's REAL - 100% REAL.
The issues Kimberly brought to attention in this book was amazing - bullying in school, abuse by step-parent not only physically but also sexually, neglect from parent and ignorance from teachers.
This hit close to home and I think it may hit each one of us that reads a bit close to home since "bullying" is prevalent in our schools today. There are always children in the news either taking their own lives or the lives of others because of being pushed to enact some sort of "RAGE".
This is a story about Brian and how he copes on a day to day basis living the horrors of an abusive step-father in a home of negligence. His mother works 2 jobs just to keep alcohol flowing for her husband instead of putting food in the cabinets.
Brian not only lives with the horrors of home-life but also has to deal with bullies in his school. This isn't your everyday bullies either, the things this child has to endure are downright illegal and morbid.
He is failing school and there isn't one teacher who notices that something isn't right with Brian's mind or home-life. There is even a scene where the gym teacher is just in the next room where Brian is being beat up and abused by his bullies and the teacher never notices. He comes to school with bruises, broken ribs, cuts, scrapes and black-eyes and NEVER is this child called down to the counselor or reported to the authorities.
The only saving grace in Brian's life is Carly and her kindness towards him. Brian has had a crush on Carly since the 3rd grade and she continues to try to get him to admit to it. She finally wins him over and sticks by him giving him the confidence in himself to react back.
Finally, when it gets to be too much for Brian - he tries to reach out for help but time and time again during the course of a day, each teacher is "TOO BUSY" to listen to what he has to say. It is at this point where Brian has lost all hope.....
I just don't know what else to say about this book - by the time I got done reading it, I WAS ANGRY....so very angry at the bullies and his mom and at the teachers.
Where is the support system for these children??
Pick this book up if you dare and find out what really goes on with our children, maybe if you are a parent of a suspected bully - you can help do something. Maybe if you are a parent of child who's friend seems to be depressed and hiding something, you can take the initiative to try and help.
This book gives us the ammunition we need as parents to finally reach out and try to help!!