Monday, July 28, 2008
DEFYING THE DIVA by D. Anne Love
Haley Patterson is not having a very good freshman year. It started out just fine when she got lucky and ended up being the only freshman in the journalism class allowing her to follow her dream of writing news stories, but things have gone down hill ever since.
The problem started when she was assigned the gossip column responsibilities when the regular columnist was out sick. Not being part of the popular scene didn't give Haley much in the way of gossip until she decided to report on a friend's love life (using only initials, of course) and a party being thrown by the queen of popular, Camilla Quinn. Using this juicy gossip in her column did not win Haley any praise; instead she herself became the target of gossip.
Camilla Quinn, an expert in creative rumor spreading, began to tell everyone who would listen that Haley was a slut. Haley the Ho could be heard whispered and then shouted through the school corridors. Camilla didn't stop there. She convinced Haley's good friends to abandon Haley and join her group instead. There were also threatening emails that frightened and embarrassed Haley. Her reaction to the humiliation was to keep quiet and wish for a quick end to the school year.
With her parents leaving for a working summer in Europe, Haley finds herself being shipped off to a small resort community to stay with her aunt. To fill her summer days, she ends up working at the resort. Summer offers new friendships and romance, but she still feels a definite lack of self-esteem and worries about her return to school in the fall. Will Camilla still be a bully, and will her friends still treat her as an outcast?
Author D. Anne Love focuses on the timely issue of bullying among America's teens. Whether it involves physical or emotional abuse either of the face-to-face variety or through email or IMing, bullying is out-of-control in many high schools today. Haley learns the hard way how to face the abuse and stand up for herself and others experiencing the same circumstances. Readers will find DEFYING THE DIVA an entertaining novel with a pertinent message.