Francesca Zappia. HarperCollins. (304p) ISBN: 9780063161702

Another great publicist had the great idea of sending me a copy of this, and I’m really thankful even though this book has left me completely drained.

This is the two stories of Cat, who in one story is trapped in a nightmarish mirror of a school where all the outsider kids are transforming into ‘others’. Cardboard box heads, tentacles, eyeless masks instead or faces.

But the ‘popular’ kids have kept their human form and barricaded themselves against what they see as a threat.

But there is a threat stalking the halls of The School killing off the other inhabitants.

In the other story, Cat is going through various stages of the American school system as an outsider and with all the troubles this brings though she does have her best friend Jeffrey to help her through.

As these stories entwine around each other we see echoes of each seeping through into the other one.

By the end I was getting an inkling of where the story was going to go, but not the actual ending which though right for the story was still a shock.

Weaving tales of bullying and alienation in a system that doesn’t cope or sometimes feels like it doesn’t care. This is a hard hitting exploration of youth in American schools and the culture they have to try and survive.

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