Love, Heather by Laurie Petrou is a book about bullying that has an interesting concept. There are some entertaining aspects to this story, and the problems that arise for the main character are terrifying. However, the novel tries to tackle too many teen issues all at once, and there are numerous plot holes that affected my enjoyment of it.Title: Love, Heather
Author: Laurie Petrou
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: October 8, 2019
Award-winning author Laurie Petrou returns with a dark, coming-of-age thriller perfect for fans of Megan Abbott and Jessica Knoll.
What you see isn't always what you get.
Stevie never meant for things to go this far. When she and Dee--defiant, bold, indestructible Dee--started all this, there was a purpose to their acts of vengeance: to put the bullies of Woepine High School back in their place. And three months ago, Stevie believed they deserved it. Once her best friend turned on her, the rest of the school followed. Stevie was alone and unprotected with a target on her back. Online, it was worse.
It was Dee's idea to get them all back with a few clever pranks, signing each act Love, Heather--an homage to her favorite 80's revenge flick. Despite herself, Stevie can't help getting caught up in the payback, reveling in every minute of suffering. And for a while, it works: it seems the meek have inherited the school.
But when anonymous students begin joining in, punishing perceived slights with increasingly violent ferocity, the line between villain and vigilante begins to blur. As friends turn on each other and the administration scrambles to regain control, it becomes clear: whatever Dee and Stevie started has gained a mind--and teeth--of its own. And when it finally swallows them whole, one will reemerge changed, with a plan for one final, terrifying act of revenge.
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Book Review: Love, Heather by Laurie Petrou
At first glance, the book seems to be a spinoff of the 80s teen movie, Heathers. There are some ties to the movie, as it is directly referenced a few times, and it has a theme of retribution. Although, Love, Heather is very far from the original dark comedy film. The bullying that takes place in this book is very serious and reflective of the impact social media has on our society today.
❀ Tries to Address Too Many Teen Issues
The first half of the story is quite entertaining and I really loved getting to know Stevie and reading about her relationship with her best friend and her family. It is the second half of the book that really takes a turn, and the reader is hit with all sorts of issues. Discussing each one will give away too much of the story, however there are a multitude of issues in this book. Teen sex, underage drinking, drug use, bullying, sexual violence, gender identity, eating disorders, social media, and the list goes on.
❀ Very Unlikely Series of Events
A few of the events in the story seem very unlikely in my opinion. Having a personal understanding of the high school setting and the region the story takes place in, some things just don’t add up. There are cameras located in various locations in our Ontario high schools and access to the schools by students outside of school hours is very controlled. Some of the events in the story would not be missed by school staff, and a student would certainly not be able to enter a school independently after hours. Also, the twist at the end of the story is not original and is poorly executed.
❀ Tackles the Issues of Bullying
While there are some entertaining aspects to this book that tackles the issues of bullying, it tries to take on too much, and parts of the story seem very unrealistic. Social media has certainly added to the problem of bullying, and it is something that is increasingly important to address. In my opinion, it would have been more effective to have seen some positive ways to deal with bullying in this novel.
Book Quotes: Love, Heather by Laurie Petrou
Lottie and I are in her room, listening to records. She is sitting on the floor with her eyes closed, and I am flopped on her red-and-blue checkered bedspread, looking through the pile of albums.
And then, finally, in the late afternoon, she agrees to come to my house after school, something she’s never done before, but I offered up as a last resort. She looks at me, her face hard, and says, “Yeah. Okay, it’d be good too see where you live.” Something prickles in my mind, but I push it away.