Publication Date: 8-30-2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Everybody knows, nobody’s talking. . . .
Seventeen-year-old Skylar Thompson is being questioned by the police. Her boyfriend, Jimmy, stands accused of brutally assaulting two young El Salvadoran immigrants from a neighboring town, and she’s the prime witness. Skylar is keeping quiet about what she’s seen, but how long can she keep it up?
But Jimmy was her savior. . . .
When her mother died, he was the only person who made her feel safe, protected from the world. But when she begins to appreciate the enormity of what has happened, especially when Carlos Cortez, one of the victims, steps up to demand justice, she starts to have second thoughts about protecting Jimmy. Jimmy’s accomplice, Sean, is facing his own moral quandary. He’s out on bail and has been offered a plea in exchange for testifying against Jimmy.
The truth must be told. . . .
Sean must decide whether or not to turn on his friend in order to save himself. But most important, both he and Skylar need to figure out why they would follow someone like Jimmy in the first place.
Skylar Thompson has had a rough patch in her life. Her mother passed away and since then it has been just her and her dad. She met a new guy named Jimmy who she swears she loves. He is the one person who has been able to make her feel better since her mother’s death. He seems to get her and helps her through this situation. Everything suddenly seems to go wrong. Jimmy and his friend Sean (Skylar’s neighbor) decide to participate in a game in which the idea is to assault immigrants and tell them to go back home. The name of the game is “beaner hopping” which just makes me sick. I couldn’t believe it when I found out what it was. Unfortunately, this time one of those immigrants has died and the two they assaulted were brothers. Skylar saw it all happen, but is told to keep her mouth shut so no one goes to jail.
The ultimate question is whether Skylar and Sean will decide to keep quiet so everyone is okay or if they will tell the truth because it needs to be told. Skylar and Sean are both facing their own moral dilemma in this situation. Neither wants to keep quiet, but neither wants anyone to get in trouble either. This is such a question as to what is right and what is wrong and when telling the truth should come before protecting friends. Skylar and Sean each take their own path in coming to terms with what happened, and that path isn’t an easy one for either teenager. This is a sad story, but one that needs to be told. It reminds us how important it is to tell the truth, and how talking to someone about what happened could be the difference between life and death. I hope this book reminds other teens that hurting others is not acceptable behavior in any circumstance.
There is so much emotion in the telling of this story. We hear from the principal, the girlfriend, the mother of the boy who was murdered, and so much more. We learn more about each person involved, but the main character Skylar was clueless. It was crazy to see how much she would protect someone who committed murder. She wanted to believe that he loved her and that she loved her and that was all that mattered. She was naïve. It was interesting to see her grow throughout the book and come into herself a little more. She was able to realize that this guy, Jimmy, wasn’t the only important thing in her life.
The ending wasn’t quite what I had hoped for, but it did bring everything together. We know what happens, even if it wasn’t all wrapped up in a nice little bow. Overall, it was a good story, intense in every way, and filled with emotion. This isn’t a book for someone who likes light and fluffy reads, because it most certainly is not a light read.