By Laurie Petrou
Published October 2019 by Crooked Lane Books
Stevie never meant for things to go this far. When she and Dee–defiant, bold, indestructible Dee–started all this, there was a purpose to their acts of vengeance: to put the bullies of Woepine High School back in their place. And three months ago, Stevie believed they deserved it. Once her best friend turned on her, the rest of the school followed. Stevie was alone and unprotected with a target on her back. Online, it was worse.
It was Dee’s idea to get them all back with a few clever pranks, signing each act Love, Heather–an homage to her favorite 80’s revenge flick. Despite herself, Stevie can’t help getting caught up in the payback, reveling in every minute of suffering. And for a while, it works: it seems the meek have inherited the school.
But when anonymous students begin joining in, punishing perceived slights with increasingly violent ferocity, the line between villain and vigilante begins to blur. As friends turn on each other and the administration scrambles to regain control, it becomes clear: whatever Dee and Stevie started has gained a mind–and teeth–of its own. And when it finally swallows them whole, one will reemerge changed, with a plan for one final, terrifying act of revenge.
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Love, Heather is an intense YA read that left me thinking about it for a long while after I finished reading it.
Stevie and her best friend Lottie have been best friends since what feels like forever. But now high school is in full swing and Stevie is starting to feel like she’s losing the one best friend she’s had.
After one unintentional remark, Stevie’s apologies fall on deaf ears and she’s suddenly the outcast at her school. And we all know in this day and age, bullying occurs not only in person but also via social media, so no matter where Stevie was, the hateful words followed her. And they were awful, absolutely awful.
This is one of those gut-wrenching reads that was so intense and at times hard to read, but also so incredibly important. I feel like Laurie Petrou captured the essence of being a teenager who really feels like she has no one to talk to, even though everyone says she can talk to them.
Stevie basically isolates herself until Dee comes along, and then things start to change. Dee helps Stevie find the courage to stand up for herself, until things start going too far. Dee just didn’t care what anyone thought and did whatever she felt was necessary to turn the tables on the bullying in the school. Her behavior is reckless and intense and the complete opposite of Stevie.
I think my biggest issue with this book is that it turned into a mental health issue that I’m not even sure how realistic that aspect is. Particularly with the way this story played out. And while I get this is a fictional story, that part didn’t sit well with me. And yes, I’m being purposely vague because I don’t want to give away spoilers.
That aside, the whole of the story is so raw and so emotional, I just really wanted to hug Stevie. And it really left me thinking about a lot of things. I highly recommend this book to both adults and teenagers!