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BOYS, GIRLS & OTHER HAZARDOUS MATERIALS by Rosalind Wiseman

Looking for a new beginning after a terrible mean girl past, Charlie Healey realizes there's no escaping high school drama...

Charlie Healey thinks Harmony Falls is the beginning of a whole new life. Middle school was brutal. But high school is Charlie's big chance to start over and stay out of drama, except that on her first day she runs into Will, her ex-best friend, who had moved away. Now a varsity athlete and hotter than Charlie remembered, Will hangs with the crowd running the school. But Charlie doesn't understand their power until an innocent delivery guy falls victim to a near-deadly hazing prank.

Torn between doing what's right and her secret feelings for Will, Charlie must decide whether to turn in her very best friend or live with the guilt of knowing what he did.

Rosalind Wiseman's first novel for young adults is a fresh, funny, and juicy read about friendship, betrayal, and how far some will go to be accepted.


First line:
"Here's the deal."

What will you put up with to have friends?
Charlotte, AKA Charlie, was in a negative relationship in junior high and was ecstatic to leave it behind when she entered a different high school. The girls were mean, degrading and enjoyed putting others down. When something happened they didn't like, they resorted to bullying and cyber bullying.  Unfortunately, Charlie did not stand up for the other person nor did she stand up to her friends. That is hard to do!
But after Charlie finds friends who like her and are positive and stand by her, she develops into a stronger person. So when she gets the chance, she tells off her ex friends. Her BFF, Sydney, watches the exchange and is pretty proud and amazed at Charlie. So when a boy starts bullying Sydney, she takes a page out of Charlie's setting-down-mean-frenemies and tells him off. But she takes it a little further and Charlie feels she has to tell her friend to stop.
In the meantime, their is hazing going on and someone gets hurt. Charlie saw the whole incident and feels she has to tell someone but she's stopped by others because who do you tell? Adults? They don't really care. They are all about image and the schools reputation.
So Charlie has to make amends with her friend, find the courage to turn someone in for a hit-and-run and try to figure out the boy she's crushing on.
This is a good story about healthy relationships from girls to girls, boys/girls to girls/boys and teens to adults. The story was pretty balanced in adults who will help and understand to those who turn their head and ignore. And a good balance with stupid girls and smart ones. Also, the problems were real life problems that can be handled and this book teaches some ways to handle them.
The characters were written well and grew throughout the book.
I think this book is worth teens, boys, girls and parents, reading.



Rating: PG 14
V: Bullying, hazing
L: Swearing sprinkled throughout
S: Kissing

Liked:
 Sydney
Charlie
Will
Good look at healthy relationships

Disliked:
Excessive use of exclamation points!!!!

3 1/2 STARS

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