Wow! This book was surprisingly good.
I think I bought this book when I was in middle school and it has been sitting on my shelf untouched since. Now I finally got around to reading it and it was amazing. From the plot summary, it sounds like just another teenage reform story, but it is so much more.
It's a quick read but definitely worth it. Castellucci delves into the lives of teenagers and touches on issues that aren't expressed as often in books for teens, like feeling depressed or trying to figure out how other people see the world.
The main character is flat-out a complete jerk, but by having such an unlikable character Castellucci is able to form a caricature of the teenage mind: selfish, rebellious, fearful of not fitting in, just figuring out the world. This was such an amazing book. And while the ending is a little too happily-ever-after for my taste, the message was definitely powerful.