When I first saw “Shattering Glass” by Gail Giles, I knew instantly that this was going to be an off-center book. I thought correctly. This book, within the very first page makes you aware of the fact that a tragedy is going to happen, yet this story leaves you guessing as to what this tragedy that is about to happen really is. The book starts off by illustrating the lives of a few popular boys, like Coop, the athlete, Rob, the leader, Young, as well as one not so popular person, Simon Glass, the school nerd. Rob decides to “demonstrate” his own popularity by turning Simon Glass, an unfashionable, overweight, book nerd, into a member of the “popular” clique. Throughout turning Simon into “Mr. Popular”, Simon becomes aware of some dark secrets in Rob's past, along with developing a power hunger that ultimately becomes his downfall. Throughout the plot of the story, several issues that are very common among teenagers arise. These touchy issues include non-graphic struggles due to one's coping with molestation, non-graphic disappointments with teenage sexuality, and the disappointment associated with the “first time”. This book is slightly disturbing due to the fact that it includes the internal conflict over subordination, loss of self awareness, loss of sense of right/wrong, the cruelty that high school cliques can (and do) impose on each other and themselves, as well as the pains associated with watching justice being dealt unfairly, and broken hearts. This book made me ask myself very important questions on why people exclude others, and why is it important to conform or stereotype to a certain clique. The question isn't whether or not you are going to enjoy this book, but rather whether or not you are ready to ask yourself questions on how you live your life, and how you can make it better.
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