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Unloved: A Suicide Prevention Novel

Thursday, April 28, 2011
The first thing I noticed and liked about this book was that it had a thank you for reading page; I stopped to read it and liked the book a little bit more because the writers had acknowledge the reader. 
The first story, about two boys, take the reader back to the schooldays.  The two main characters are Brandon, a boy with a bad home life, and Eric, Brandon's supposed best friend who receives regular beatings from Brandon.   The author makes the situation so much more real than just an event occurring in a book, the phrase "home grown ass whoppin'" is used, the nasty expressions on the bullies' (Brandon and his father) faces, and the hurt and terror reflected in Eric's actions and facial expressions/emotions. 
The second story concerns a boy named Meech and the bully that encouraged him to end his life much too soon.  Meech was potentially gay-at least that's what the students believe.  The bullying occurred mainly at school, from being shoved into a vat of sour cream to having tobacco spit on Meech's clothing.  The very sad part of the short story occurs when the bully acknowledges Meech's kindness in welcoming the bully to the school, his hopeful eyes,  and how Meech gathered up the bully's homework when he was home sick.  The trouble lies in Meech and the bully kissing, as much as the bully enjoyed the kissing, he couldn't handle the potential affects it would have on his life. The author creates this story by allowing the reader to see into the bully's head and experience as well as potentially understand what happened. 
 In the next short story, an innocent sleepover goes very wrong.  Greer, the main character, hated his nickname in school "Greer the Queer", his main desire in life is to fit in.  During the sleepover, Greer comforts a boy named Randy who was picked on to the point of tears.  Greer wakes up with his head on Randy's chest and his hand in Randy's hand as well as to cell phone cameras flashing and the jeering of the other teens.  As Greer shoves away from Randy, Randy is badly hurt (physically as well as probably emotionally).  A few horrible pictures later, Randy brings a gun to school to hurt his tormentors.  The author show one possible consequence of bullying vividly and effectively.
The anthology continues, accentuating the results of bullying from suicide to re-bullying to violence at school.  The characters in each anthology vary from their viewpoints, some are friends of the bully or the bullies themselves while others are the victims.  No detail is spared, the emotions of the main characters are high intensity and the characters themselves become very real to the reader.  I would recommend this book to teens/young adults/adults in general, everyone should be educated about the effects and harm of bullying.