God I loved this book. I stumbled on this book by looking at a friend's (Catie's) profile page and seeing that this book was listed as one of her favorites. Well, I can never go wrong with reading one of Catie's favorites. The topic that this story addresses is very sensitive, very personal and done very well. (very very very). Deanna is taken advantage of by her older brother's friend when she is only in middle school. Her parents know about it, everyone at school knows about it and as a result, she is labeled a slut by her father and all her classmates. Deanna is growing up in a family that seems to struggle financially and in a town without much hope. There is so much about this storyline that reminded me of my hometown and my high school. Because of this, mid-story I recommended this book to a friend from high school and I believe the story resonated with her as well. What is it about judging high school girls based on the sex they may have had or did not have? Does this still happen or is it a thing of the past? 8th grade and up can be such tough years for girls. There is so much need, hope and doubt in girls those age. There is desire to experiment with new things and to push boundaries. I remember the conflict and the hurt well. Zarr captures it perfectly. And I know this book is not just about judgment of sexual behavior, it is about a young girl who was so insecure and needy that she fell prey to an older boy who saw the neediness and vulnerability in her. It is about parents who fail to love unconditionally and instead judge and are extremely conditional with affection. I do not want to give the storyline away. But just know this is a beautiful and extremely personal book. Zarr writes Deanna's character so well. You will hate her father, you will hope for her and get frustrated with her. I loved it and highly recommend this book. My daughter (13 years old) is slightly too young for this story, but I look forward to sharing it with her when she is a few years older.