Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
A week ago, Dinah’s cousin Claire cut her wrists.
Five days ago, Dinah found Claire’s diary and discovered why.
Three days ago, Dinah stopped crying and came up with a plan.
Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair.
Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator’s camouflage.
Today, she’ll find the boy who broke Claire.
By tomorrow, he’ll wish he were dead.
This book ticked me off more than it should have been. It starts off with Dinah appearing all vigilante-like, talking about her secret and about destroying another person as though the act of destruction has no emotional consequence. Because the person she is keen to see dead is the reason her beloved cousin is in a hospital, in a coma. There are also parental issues as there usually are but that’s a side issue. The primary narrative is the vengeance arc where Dinah assumes her cousin’s life in all but name in order to ferret out the boy who went out with her cousin, raped her and then dumped her. She is determined to make this boy suffer as her cousin is suffering.
And I could have enjoyed such a book. I really could have. Except I could tell how the entire book would play out in the first three chapters and then I wondered why Dinah didn’t show more intelligence than she did. I did not like her. Any one even remotely planning vengeance like she is planning would know that the key factor is information. She needs more information than what she has read in her cousin’s diary. Only Dinah doesn’t go looking for information. Ever. She takes what she reads in her cousin’s diary to be the truth even when her own intuition and experiences lead her to believe otherwise. Even when the truth is staring right into her eyes before pushing her down and trying to have his ways with her. Even then she is stupid.
I mean, there is stupid and there is stupid and Dinah crosses all lines and goes into the kind of stupid that people usually don’t come back from. She is dressed up as someone cool, someone I’d want to emulate but no, she is nowhere half as cool as the really smart girl whose name I can’t remember but is the kind of character really popular in YA novels – the petite, eccentric geniuses who have the mystery figured out but no one ever listens to. Yeah.
The malicious pranks Dinah and her friends play on the boy in order to bring him down appalled me not because the culprit wouldn’t have deserved them but because it was obvious he was not the culprit and I didn’t understand why Dinah and her friends weren’t out there where the initial incident occurred, talking to people, showing pictures, acting as though there was a functional brain among the three of them.
This book didn’t impress me. Not with its characterizations, plot or the saccharine ending with the odds neatly tied up. It had potential that it didn’t live up and it had a very unlikable main character that I hope never to see again.