Shattering Glass

( 81 )

Overview

When Rob, the charismatic leader of the senior class, turns the school nerd into Prince Charming, his actions lead to unexpected violence.

When Rob, the charismatic leader of the senior class, turns the school nerd into Prince Charming, his actions lead to unexpected violence.

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Overview

When Rob, the charismatic leader of the senior class, turns the school nerd into Prince Charming, his actions lead to unexpected violence.

When Rob, the charismatic leader of the senior class, turns the school nerd into Prince Charming, his actions lead to unexpected violence.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
An out-of-state transfer student ascends to alpha male, and his high school clique's plan to make over a social outcast go tragically awry, in what PW called "a suspenseful, disturbing novel." Ages 12-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT
This is an intriguing and at times painfully real story of the world of boys in a contemporary American high school that should be owned by every high school library. The boys in the novel work to meet the expectations of their parents, their school, their peers and themselves, and they quickly find themselves in far over their heads. One day, the head of the "popular boy" group at school decides to turn Simon Glass, the quintessential pocket protector nerd, into "class favorite," meanwhile dethroning the ever-popular captain of the football team. His friends go along with the ruse, teaching Simon about the ins and outs of high school stardom and showmanship. Soon, however, the boys find that Simon is savvier than he first appeared, and they are in far deeper than they'd ever imagined. This is a captivating story of privilege, belonging and rank in high school, and should be well received by both girls and boys in high school. The author uses the interesting device of including quotes at the beginning of each chapter that foreshadow events at the end. This technique will capture the interest of even the most reluctant reader, because the clues definitely build the suspense and predict the final tragedy. KLIATT Codes: JS*; Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2002, Simon & Schuster, 215p.,
— Sarah Applegate
VOYA
By the end of the first paragraph, readers know that Simon Glass was easy to hate and that eventually he was killed. It takes the rest of the book to find out who killed him and why. Told in the different voices of students, teachers, counselors, and law-enforcement officers, the story unfolds little by little until the explosive climax. The reader soon realizes that the narrator of the story, Young, was one of Simon's classmates and is in prison for killing him, but it does not seem possible given the manner in which Young's character is portrayed. It soon becomes clear that Rob, Young's friend and unofficial group leader, is a master manipulator, pulling the strings of all the characters, influencing their actions to fulfill his master plan. In the early pages of the book, the language used by the students, the way they talk to and refer to each other might not seem authentic. After that initial reaction, though, as the suspense begins to build, readers will find it hard to put down the book. Robert Cormier's recent The Rag and Bone Shop (Delacorte Press, 2001/VOYA October 2001) explores the question of how a person can be influenced to do something that they ordinarily would not do. Although the plots of the two books are dissimilar, Giles's novel is also a chilling portrayal of manipulation leading to tragic consequences. Teens in upper middle school and high school will relate to the characters and, sadly, to some of the events in this book. PLB
— Linda Roberts
From The Critics
Rob, the very popular leader of the senior class, decides for his own enjoyment to transform the not so popular class nerd into Prince Charming. What follows is a series of events that manipulates Rob's friends to carry out his wishes. The reader will soon discover that this novel is not so different from Robert Cormier's famous coming of age book The Chocolate War. The pranks, the sinister accomplishments all carefully constructed by Rob, give the reader the utmost feeling of manipulation — very Archiesque. The problem for Rob, of course, is that all is not going to end as he has planned. His cruel challenges lead to violence and death. A compelling read — one that is somewhat slow in the middle — but one that moves to a tension-filled close. 2002, Roaring Brook Press, 224 pp.,
— John Bushman
Children's Literature
This dark and suspense-filled teen drama introduces us to Simon Glass, who is a world-class school nerd. Rob, Mr. Charisma, is out to turn Simon into Prince Charming by the end of the year. And it looks like he just might pull off the feat. The narrator, Young Steward, has fallen under Rob's spell and finds himself a pawn in Rob's game. Though he feels a personal repulsion toward Simon, Young goes along with Rob's plans, even sacrificing his own girlfriend in the process. What makes this novel fascinating is that the author lets us know at the outset that something tragic is going to result, but keeps us guessing as to the form the tragedy will take. Each chapter is preceded by a quotation from one of the characters that deftly foreshadows oncoming doom. The device works to perfection, catapulting this novel above those in the mainstream. The disturbingly violent yet satisfying climax lives up to the hype. Gail Giles is an author worth watching.
—Christopher Moning
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Gail Giles' debut young adult novel (Millbrook, 2002) makes a searing audio production as read by Scott Brick. His cold, calculating delivery style raises the tension on this already tense story about an in-group of high school seniors led by a true sociopath. Listeners can tell from an early scene involving torture of a laboratory animal that Rob means the most chilling sort of trouble for Simon Glass, class misfit. The story's narrator, Young Steward, a member of the clique, makes clear the grip Rob has on all his friends and focuses on his implacable intention to re-make Simon for purposes of his own. The violent frenzy Rob orchestrates ends in Simon's death after he shows signs of self-confidence that Rob can't allow. With a constant edge in his voice, Brick never lets up as he relates this riveting story. One somewhat problematic factor is the series of quotes from classmates and adults that introduce each chapter. As read, they are sometimes difficult to distinguish from the actual chapter narrative, leading to momentary confusion. The cover includes a list of chapters contained on each side of the tapes, a nice feature for finding a place in the text version. Reminiscent of Lord of the Flies, this is a story with mature themes focusing on the darkest side of human nature but in the most chillingly realistic of modern settings. The compelling writing is enhanced with convincing narration, but its intensity may give pause for thought.-Jane P. Fenn, Corning-Painted Post West High School, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A grimly comic debut novel revisits the dark hell of high-school cliques. The ruling posse at BrazosVale High includes the usual suspects: rich, well-connected "Young" Steward; smooth stud "the Bobster" DeMarco; dumb jock "Coop" Cooper; and the exquisitely cool and charismatic alpha male, Rob Haynes. As a demonstration of power, Rob decides to elevate the school outcast, dweeby Simon Glass, to the heights of popularity. While Simon seems pathetically eager for any crumb of attention, he eventually reveals an agenda all his own. As Simon exposes their hidden vulnerabilities, the agents of Rob's whims explode into shocking violence. While grownups might cavil at the ubiquitous adult cruelty and cluelessness, most teens will nod with recognition at the adolescent characters. Giles skates the fine edge of stereotyping, but manages to give his characters authentic voices; the narrator Young is particularly well realized, with his sardonic wit, his artist's sensitivity, and his tightly wrapped rage. As much provocateur as victim, Simon subtly goads the reader into compliance with his eventual murder. Even though the denouement is known almost from the outset-Young is sent to prison for the crime-this narrative device actually heightens tension as the reader struggles against its awful inevitability. Most intriguing are the quotes heading each chapter, revealing the perspectives of the characters five years later, and which raise questions of justice, mercy, and individual responsibility. A sure-fire hit for book discussion groups, from a writer to watch. (Fiction. YA)
From the Publisher
* A grimly comic debut novel revisits the dark hell of high-school cliques. The ruling posse at BrazosVale High includes the usual suspects; rich, well-connected "Young" Steward; smooth stud "the Bobster" DeMarco; dumb jock "Coop" Cooper; and the exquisitely cool and charismatic alpha male, Rob Haynes. As a demonstration of power, Rob decides to elevate the school outcast, dweeby Simon Glass, to the heights of popularity. While Simon seems pathetically eager for any crumb of attention, he eventually reveals an agenda all his own. As Simon exposes their hidden vulnerabilities, the agents of Rob’s whims explode into shocking violence. While grownups might cavil at the ubiquitous adult cruelty and cluelessness, most teens will nod with recognition at the adolescent characters. Giles skates the fine edge of stereotyping, but manages to give her characters authentic voices; the narrator Young is particularly well realized, with his sardonic wit, his artist’s sensitivity, and his tightly wrapped rage. As much provocateur as victim, Simon subtly goads the reader into compliance with his eventual murder. Even though the denouement is known almost from the outset—Young is sent to prison for the crime—this narrative device actually heightens tension as the reader struggles against its awful inevitability. Most intriguing are the quotes heading each chapter, revealing the perspectives of the characters five years later, and which raise questions of justice, mercy, and individual responsibility. A sure-fire hit for book discussion groups, from a writer to watch. —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

This is a taut and dark drama of murder and culpability that recalls Killing Mr. Griffin. . . . This has many curricular possibilities, but it’ll probably be most satisfying as a dark and edgy page-turner. —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

 

* The tension-filled story's narrator is Young Steward, a member of the cool group run by Rob Haynes, a student who transferred in and immediately took over with a wide-reaching power. Rob manages to transform Simon, the class nerd—and transform his classmates' attitude toward Simon—with the finesse of Svengali. But Simon is not content with his newfound popularity. He begins collecting information about his benefactors, and the secrets he learns about them, especially Rob and his devastating past, come out in a horrifyingly realistic scene in which the boys beat Simon to death. This first novel has flaws. Some of the adults are caricatures, and if you look too closely at the plot, you'll find cracks in places. But the pacing is superb, and the story's twists are unexpected and disquieting. Heading the chapters are the comments of those involved, five years after the event. This conceit extends the story and will keep readers wondering. Fans of Nancy Werlin’s books will appreciate this one; it’s a page-turner. —Booklist, starred review

 

In this suspenseful, disturbing debut novel, a high school clique’s plans to make over a social outcast go tragically awry. Quotes at the opening of each chapter foretell the disaster to come. Thaddeus R. Steward IV, nicknamed "Young," who is an aspiring writer, narrates the tale. As it opens, Rob Haynes, an out-of-state transfer student with good looks and seemingly unshakable confidence, quickly ascends to alpha male, ousting reigning king of popularity, Lance Ansley. But, as Lance puts it, "[Rob] wasn't happy to have it all, he had to make sure I didn't have anything." By contrast, Rob wants to position Simon Glass, a "textbook geek," so that his peers will vote Simon "Class Favorite." Simon appears to go along with the new clothes and haircut, but he has some ideas of his own. When Simon and Young discover a secret about Rob's past, one of them seeks to use it, the other to protect it. Unfortunately, the novel follows so many characters that readers do not get to know any one of them well. Ronna, Young's girlfriend, provides the most insightful commentary; speaking of Rob's plan to transform Simon, she says, "Instead of making Rob more, doesn't it just make all of us... less?" Such probing questions are overshadowed by the novel's larger events and the sheer number of characters. Still, the thriller plot and breakneck pacing will keep readers hooked and on the lookout for this author's next book. —Publishers Weekly

 

In this dark novel, Simon Glass is a clumsy nerd who learns the horror of high school cliques. Rob, the leader of the shallow group of bullies who entertain themselves at Simon's expense, decides to turn the frog into a prince. There is no altruistic motive for this plan as Rob takes on the role of puppet master and the others offer to help with the transformation. They teach Simon to drive, take him shopping for clothes, and put him on a diet and exercise regimen. The plan goes awry as Simon gains self-confidence, becoming more popular than Rob, and begins some manipulating of his own. Quotes from classmates and adults before each chapter build suspense by foreshadowing a tragedy that is looming. The narrator, Young Stewart, is as caught up in the game as the rest of the group as long as it serves his needs. He enlists Simon's help in hacking into the school's computer system but stands by as his friends club Simon to death with a bat in the school gymnasium. The plot is fast-paced and compelling and there is power in the brewing violence and shocking end; the language is raw and the behavior is brutal. —School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689858000
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 8/8/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 150,895
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Gail Giles has written many acclaimed YA novels, including Shattering Glass and Dead Girls Don't Write Letters. A native Texan, Gail has lived in Chicago and Alaska. She is now living back in Texas with her husband, two dogs, and three cats.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 81 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(54)

4 Star

(20)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 81 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2011

    Great Book!

    Simon Glass is a chubby, awkward nerd who everyone hates. He is always being made fun of by the other students. Things change when a new student, Rob Haynes comes around. Rob wants to turn Simon into the popular ¿prom king¿. With the help of Young, Bob, and Coop, other boys at school, Simon rises to the top of all the social classes. He begins to have complete confidence in himself, makes many new friends, and approaches good opportunities that he never would of had before. The other boys start to become jealous over Simon. However, he unravels a personality that no one expected. For example, he hacks the school computers to change personal information of others. With all of the self-happiness and confidence, he discovers a dark, and brutal secret that changes everything.

    Shattering Glass would receive five stars, and everyone will love it! Readers can¿t put it down. This book had many new twists and surprises that kept getting better. The whole concept of turning a nerd, into the most popular guy at school was very interesting and entertaining to read. It also changes the way you may think of other social classes. At the end of the book, the final secret was very surprising and suspenseful.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    I have read many good books but never have I liked a book so muc

    I have read many good books but never have I liked a book so much where I wrote a review on my own time. This book just might be one of the best books I have ever read. I told my sister and cousin about this book. Very well written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2014

    Gail Giles is a great author. She has such a way of foreshadowin

    Gail Giles is a great author. She has such a way of foreshadowing that makes you curious and on the edge of your seat. She also makes the characters relatable. Shattering Glass is a great realistic fiction book that tells how power can become unmanageable when used by 
    someone who is immoral and/or immature. The story is told through the perspective of a high school boy named Young. Simon Glass is 
    one of the main characters who is the school wide pinata. Simon is always being made fun of and teased because he is chubby and smart. But Rob, Young's friend and one of the most attractive and popular boys, wants to turn Simon around and make him the most 
    popular kid in school. Robs plan works wonderfully until everything goes horribly wrong at the end. After reading this book, you will want to
     re-assess your friends. Young couldn't have been more right when he said "Simon Glass was easy to hate. I never knew exactly why, there was just too much to pick from. I guess, really, we each hated him for a different reason, but we didn't realize it until the day we killed him."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    I loved this book!! It totally kept me on my toes. The ending om

    I loved this book!! It totally kept me on my toes. The ending omg!! I'm not going to ruin it for the ppl that will read this so i am just going to say its a must read!! GET THE BOOK!!

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  • Posted March 31, 2013

    Simon Glass is a chubby kid that everyone hates in high school.

    Simon Glass is a chubby kid that everyone hates in high school. He's made fun of everyday by other students. But then Rob comes and
    helps change Simons look and Bob,Lance, and Coop help Rob make this happen. But when Simon becomes cool and people begin to 
    like Simon, Rob gets jealous because people are begininng to like Simon. Simon begins to fell confinidente with himself and makes 
    more friends that he thought would never happen. Simon has a dark secret that changes everything and the group of boys made a 
    mistake that they didn't think that they thought would never happen. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Shattering Glass

    While in my English class, we chose to read this fiction novel. I didn't really comprehend most of it because of all my absences. But all i really know is that Simon Glass was a nerd who was fat and clumsy. He was somewhat a loser and everybody hated him. Everybody picks on him, until Rob Haynes shows up. Rob was a transfer student and became popular in the school, and decided to help Simon out... or rather have other plans for him... (HINT: somebody gets murdered!)

    (this story was okay, but not as the usual of the others i recommended for you.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2009

    Oh My Gosh!

    This book was remarkable! I loved it from beginning to end! I would recommend it to anyone! It is so insightful and very powerful. It can change your views perhaps on social life at school, but overall it is thrilling and you WILL be suprised. I read it a few months ago actually, but it is unforgettable! Gail Giles is genius! :)

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  • Posted September 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The trickers got tricked

    This book shows glass as one thing but in the end another its sad how it all ends but the ride is fun.

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  • Posted July 10, 2009

    This book should be made into a movie! Great visual opportunities!

    The beginning of each chapter starts with a police interview with a person who may have had something to do with the crime, which helps unfold different aspects of the story. It bounces from that police interrogation to what happened five years prior, so that part could confuse a reader not expecting it or someone who is not patient/curious enought to figure out what's going on. There is a tough topic for guys that is subtly revealed in this story. It takes a very "typical" teen movie topic (re-making a nerd) and twists it into a psychological thriller. I highly recommend!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2009

    Shattering Glass

    I was required to read this book in my english class, and I think it sucked. It was boring with too much going on and too many characters in the scenes. In one scene, everyone voices their opinion which becomes too much and leaves you wondering "whose who?" I really didn't like how there was a quote from a character at the beginning of each chapter. It took away the suprise of learning what's going to happen. This book was not suspenseful at all. I do not recommend it anyone.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    This book is absolutely amazing. I couldn't put it down.

    This book is an amazing book. Gail Giles really out did herself on this one. It shows depth, emotion, and voice. It's something you want to read over and over again. I think this book outshines all the other books Gail Giles has written. It's like a romantic, suspenseful, thriller!

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  • Posted October 22, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A must read!

    This book was very intriguing and mysterious. The way this novel was written helped me better undertand and visualize every situation. Eventough the author tells us the ending in the very first paragraph of this novel, it is still very unexpected when it finaly comes. I recomend this book to all audiences. I loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    Shattering Glass

    Could you ever imagine hatig a person so much, that someday you might end up killing him/her?? In the book Shattering Glass by Gail Giles it actually happens. This is a realistic teen fiction novel. Simon Glass is a nerd, a loser and on the the lowest part of the high school social ladder. People pick on him so much-until Rob Haynes shows up. Rob, a transfer student and the senior class leader has plans in store for Simon. Rob gets help from his crew-Young, Coop, Bob with a mission: to turn Simon from freak to would-be Prom King. But Simon rises to the top of his game, showing confidence and a devious side that power hungry Rob doesn't like. And when Simon decides to tell a dangerous secret, events begin to darken. The result is a bone-chiling, unexpected,...brutal ending. I liked the book alot, there is so much suspense. Gail Giles lives in Alaska with her husband, two dogs, three cats, and some wild moose that stay every now and then. The author for Young Adults selection and Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers selection, her books have been nominated both in 2003, in ALA Teens Top Ten selection, for Shattering Glass and Dead Girls Don't Write Letters. Overall, I would give this book an eight out of ten.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2008

    wow

    This was a great book! It was very entertaining and suspenseful, eventhough it tells you the end in the first paragraph. It makes you think about your role in life. Make sure you read the blurbs at the beginning of each paragraph, or else you wont get what happens.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2008

    A reviewer

    As the parent of a 14 year old 'mature,gifted and quirky' daughter, we were finally able to find a book that wasn't too 'girly' for her and peaked her interest with complicated characters who were full of secrets. Beacuse of the mature subject matter, I read the book along with her and we discussed the content to distinguish between what events were real possibilities and the choices that were acceptable in our household in relation to those events. The fact that it was set in the Houston area made it even more interesting for her because she could identify with many of the locations and points of interest. She really enjoyed reading about high school life from the 'guy's' perspective and I think it helped to give her some insight into their world. As a high school/jr. high teacher, this would be an excellent book to use in LA classes and it would be even better to have the author come in to discuss it with your students - she's a local in the Woodlands! All of Gail Giles' books made the rounds this past school year amongst her 8th grade Pre-AP class as they were required to read a book a month and complete a project. If you have a teenager who can't find reading material that appeals to their darker side, check out Shattering Glass and you will be making weekly trips back to the bookstore to get the rest of Ms. Giles' books - she's that good!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2008

    A great book to read.

    Shattering Glass by Gail Gills is a must read book. Shattering Glass is about a couple of popular guys with a plan to make Simon Glass a popular kid. But they run into to many problems trying to make him cool. In the end it's different then what you probably would have expected to happen. Gail Gills has a strong lead and semi-easy to follow. The way he lead you was good because he made you think one thing, but at the end it was all different. The captions Gail Gills puts in at the beginning of each chapter makes it a little confusing at first, but toward the end they begin to make sense. I highly recommend this book for teenagers and up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2008

    MUST READ!!!!

    Do you know an outcast or are you one? In the book Shattering Glass Simon Glass is a outcast and a freak. He is fat, clumsy, and a nerd. He has no friends and no one thinks he ever will. On the popularity chart he sits with the lowest of the low, and will probably stay there. Then there are the cool guys everyone likes Bob, Young, Rob,and Coop. Now Rob sits at the top of the popularity pyramid and this year he has a plan to change Simon's state. He is going to bring him from invisible to Prom King, But Simon is going to develop a attitude no one expected. He is going to find out one of Rob's darkest secrets that he will spit in his face. And at prom one of them might not come out alive. Gail Giles does a great job putting this book together, as she creates Simon's nerdy personality or how he works his daily life. She makes Rob the big shot and everyone his followers where ever he goes. The book adds so much drama and suspense when Rob's secret is displayed. It becomes a page turning book that you are unable to put down. I think late middle school and high school students would enjoy this book. You have to make sure not to skip the little paragraphs before every chapter though. It helps if you read them. I give this book 5 stars and it is a definite read, you wont, be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2008

    One of the best books I have read

    Have you ever read the book shattering glass? Well i have. Let me tell you a little bit about the book. In the book there is a kid named Simon who always gets picked on by the other kids. Simon gets bullied and teased, until one day the bulling and teasing goes to far and someone ends up hurt. I give this book a rating of 5 stars because, the book was cool, and the book related to the real world with the teasing and bulling. If you like a book with suspense shattering glass is a book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2007

    A reviewer

    I thought that this book was very good in many different ways. I could relate to it and it was very visual. It is about a high school student¿s life during his senior year. He is popular and he has many friends. One of his friends is Coop. He is the typical school jock. He is very athletic, but he struggles academically. Another friend is Bob. He is the ladies man. He has good looks, dresses well, and has a great smile. Young also has one more friend, Rob. Rob moved from one county to another witch happened to be where B'Vale High School was. When he came he quickly became the popularity leader of the guys at school. He also likes to control people. One day there was a nerd named Simon Glass who was getting bullied by a guy named Lance Ansley who was flowing with testosterone. And Rob decided that he was going to make him popular. Through the book Young finds his High School lover, Ronna. A beautiful girl who also likes Young. They go out for a while and then Rob tells Young that he needs to give Ronna away to Simon so he can be popular, and he did. He made it so it looked like he cheated on her and then thing started to go down hill. Graduation comes and good things happen, but one thing goes wrong and somebody freaked out. It leaves you on the edge of your seat biting your fingernails, and almost disgusted at the visualization that the author shows. It was a very good book, but it got a little confusing at times. I would definitely recommend this book to Young Teenagers and up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2007

    THE BOOK THATS A PIECE OF ART, SHATTERING GLASS

    Wow!!! this book is awesome it just needs a little more to the ending. I hate reading but when i read this book u want to stop reading but u find another mystery coming up. It's funny, suspicious, breath-taking, natsy, 'ronna and young they did stuff they had no biz.' scary, sad, and also entertaining. I call this book a piece of art.

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