"Hate is too easy. Love. Love takes courage."
I love this book. I'm really not into a lot of chick flick-ish novels in a high school setting, because I am so totally done with that phase and the stereotypes that go with it - the blonde, popular, mean girl, the overzealous, possessive, and violent jocks, the judgemental crowd... yada yada yada.
But this was different. Okay, maybe not that much - the stereotypes were there, and glaringly so, but the book doesn't really dwell on them much. I was very enamoured with the main character - Chelsea Knot - and her development from being a complete tattletale into a true friend who knew her flaws and tried to improve herself. And how did she achieve this? By taking a vow of silence. That's right - by not talking. At all.
I really loved how this book has shown to its readers that actions DO speak louder than words. There are words that are better left unsaid, and that some things that don't words in order to be understood. And it really touched my heart how Chelsea found herself through this silence. Before, she used to act before thinking, but by keeping silent, she was able to pause for a while and really discern things. What was important? Is it good grades? Is it to be noticed by everyone? Is it to be with the most popular girl in school and be labeled her best friend? I think all of us should do this. We are all so preoccupied by our own "priorities" that we have forgotten that the best things in life are actually simple things, and that they are right under our noses all along - our family, the small friendships and connections we make with the people we least expect to have a relation to, etc. etc.
In any case, what really sold this book to me was not only the main character, but the side characters, too! Asha is such a darling. I totally would love to have a friend like her. The prose is good, too. It wasn't full of unnecessary details, and it totally captivated Chelsea's character - imperfect, but full of hope. We all need to realise that for ourselves, too. Maybe a little bit of awareness will do us all some good. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author!!