on Aug. 2, 2011 :
I seem to be more and more compelled to write reviews on YA books that are brave enough to tackle "hush, hush" topics. Deb Hanrahan steps up to the plate in Changing My Wardrobe and tackles one giant of a topic in today's society, bullying. There are many forms of bullying and most people attribute the term to the physical form done by the stereotypical cliques. The kid being shoved into the locker, the toilet swirls, or the popular uneven fist fight. But today, more and more bullying is done verbally, and done by everyone. The old "sticks and stones.." no longer applies. Not only do the words hurt, they sometimes kill. Students, and adults for that matter, have many more venues to accomplish their trash talking. It is no longer just the gossip in the halls, or the vandalism on the bathroom wall. Today, we have Facebook, Twitter, and cellphones to accomplish even more damage. This is what I enjoyed most about this book. It tackled this form of bullying and showed the natural reaction of the teens involved, the adults surrounding them, and even the fellow students. It was very sad to read the reality that this book puts boldly in your face.
Lindsey is your typical teen starting her first year of high school. She is a very bright, intelligent, and responsible young lady. She is every parents dream of what we want our children to be like. But what we find out quickly is that Lindsey is scared, petrified really. In junior high Lindsey was picked on for being a "nerd". She never stood up for herself and let girls, especially one girl, Avery, walk all over her. To put it lightly, junior high was hell for her, and she decides she is going to take high school as the opportunity to be a totally different girl. She knows she is not willing to give up her grades, or even her feelings about right and wrong to accomplish this goal. She is convinced by her best friend, Teeny, that a new wardrobe will create a new Lindsey. So she starts her first day with her old friends, Teeny and Grouper, a new sense of style and hopefully a new outlook.
This doesn't stop Lindsey from still being pessimistic because it doesn't take long for the same old, same old to start up again with Avery and her scum of the earth boyfriend, Cal. But this time Lindsey discovers high school really can be different as she earns a new vocal ally in Jocelyn and a gorgeous guy, Marco. With her group of friends growing, and a real boyfriend, Lindsey finally feels more comfortable in her own skin and the drama seems to cool. As Lindsey is getting it together Avery and Cal make a switch to Teeny. Now Lindsey has to come completely out of her shell and stop being the victim and start being the protector of her best friend. The story continues on with some exciting twists and turns that I refuse to give out. The biggest shocker coming at the end. You know something big is about to happen, but you will never guess what does.
I am not exaggerating when I say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Beyond the plot, I loved how when you read you really felt like you were in the mind of a teen. The dialog seemed very much like something I would hear in my high school classroom. I also enjoyed the view of the other side of the coin where you see the life of the bully. What makes the bully tick and might cause them to be the way they are. I found it very interesting that at times, once they found out, the main characters felt sympathy for Avery and Cal due to their situations. That quickly changed when they discovered some people are just evil. I enjoyed this roller coaster ride of emotions and hope you will soon take the ride as well.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)