High school: a place traditionally home to homework, cliques, and bullies. The high school that Lola attends is no different, yet for her, the place is extremely trying. Raised as a Christian teen, Lola strives to be an overall good and kind person, yet that is much easier said than done, especially when the "Demented Duo" is extremely persistent in insulting her at every turn.
Not only that, but Lola's group of friends is changing, and relationships and friend-zones are changing. At certain points, it seems that all everyone can do is be against her, forcing her to respond in ways that go against her better nature. Yet she silently enjoys the chance to lash out. The only thing that seems to calm Lola down is George.
Then disaster strikes.
Lola spirals into an uncontrollable and depressive rage, where she struggles to decide whether she will become who she feels like inside or the good person that everyone else once saw her to be.
This story is actually quite intriguing because it very accurately depicts how much teens struggle with themselves. In truth, it is not just outward trials like bullying or the changing times that can break a person. This phase of life is where teens are trying to find out who they are and where they can belong in society. It's quite difficult to try and capture that balancing act: a person trying to listen to their conscience and be good but wanting to truly express themselves in a fiery outburst.
What I liked about Lola's story was that she sincerely tried to be kind, and she thought she was doing everyone a favor. She felt cheated because people who didn't know her judged her unfairly, and some people who did know her began to change around her. It was refreshing for once to read about a character who almost had to go through her trials alone. It wasn't heroically alone, but there wasn't any "magical" helpmate either.
Ms. Angaroni was able to analyze Lola's mindset and come up with a solution where her darkness soon became something so overwhelming that she wanted to return to the light.
The only limitation of this book, in my opinion, is the time period. The book is supposed to take place in the 1980's, but frankly, the author needed more details to make this believable.