Author: Laurie Halse Anderson.
High school senior Tyler Miller used to be the kind of guy who faded into the background—average student, average looks, average dysfunctional family. But since he got busted for doing graffiti on the school, and spent the summer doing outdoor work to pay for it, he stands out like you wouldn’t believe. His new physique attracts the attention of queen bee Bethany Milbury, who just so happens to be his father’s boss’s daughter, the sister of his biggest enemy—and Tyler’s secret crush. And that sets off a string of events and changes that have Tyler questioning his place in the school, in his family, and in the world.
Sexual Content: Boy ogles some girls in bikinis who are conducting a car wash. “I wasn’t supposed to think about that [death], but it was like porn. The idea would sneak in, and then I was off.” Narrator is aroused by a pretty girl. Narrator: ‘Hannah pealed off the shirt Mom made her wear and revealed a scrap of fabric that was just barely keeping her boobs under control.’ Girls all over the highschool dress very scantily one day, and the boys are constantly distracted. ‘Before the first bell most guys were semi-conscious with lust.’ Some kid posts a picture of a naked sleeping girl who got drunk. Some kissing. Boy is tempted to have sex with a girl, but doesn’t because she’s drunk.
Language: 17 scatological terms, 10 d***, 3 derogatory terms
Violence: Character shoves a guy into a waiter – glass goes everywhere, and some characters get cut up. Group of boys gangs up on another, half-naked, boy and duck-tapes him to a bench. His friend comes in at this point, smashes one of them into a locker, and cuts the boy loose. Character is hit in the head by a ball. Character fantasizes about violence (shooting a man, using a baseball bat on other characters). Character is beaten up at school. Bullying all through a day – shoves, pushes, feet stuck out to trip, whispers and insults.
Other: There is teenage drinking. There is some discussion of suicide, although the character doesn’t go through with it.