17-year-old Kate has lived her whole life in abject poverty, with an alcoholic father and drug-addicted mother, who severely abuses Kate. At school, her second-hand clothing marks her as a target. Her refusal to stand up for herself makes her the recipient of her classmates taunts and bullying. That is, until Henry returns.
Henry Jamison moved away six years earlier, just as he and Kate had begun to develop feelings for one another. He returns to find the bright, funny, outgoing girl he had known now timidly hiding in corners, barely speaking to anyone around her, suspicious of even him.
Kate can't figure out what game Henry is playing with her - for surely it is a game. What else would the gorgeous, popular boy from her past want with her?
Kate finally decides to trust Henry's intentions, opening her heart to him. Just when it seems he might be genuine in his friendship, tragedy strikes, threatening everything Kate has worked so hard to gain. Can Henry help her to overcome this new devastation, or will it tear them apart forever?
MARY ANN: (Originally posted December 10, 2012)
This is a very compelling story that, after reading, has made me feel that I must or I need to at least make a stand. No one deserved to be bullied. No amount of awkwardness, clumsiness or anything can be reason enough for a person to be bullied. We were made equal and will get old and die that way. We don't have any God-given right to feel or think that we are better than anybody.
For the first time, I am struck speechless --not because I didn't know what to say but because I'm not sure w/c to say first. Kate is a victim here, because of years of abuse, starting from home and then to school. It is so much worse, to know that this story is not just some author's imagination. This type of stories happen. They're real. There are real Kates out there. I just hope that there are more and more Henry's to come their way too.
One way to stop bullying, is not to ignore. We think we're helping if we don't "join" the bullying, but we're not. EVERY F*CKING TIME we let them get away with hurting other child--they will think they can get away with it. BULLIES are only bullies when they know they can outnumber you.
I also know, that there are abused children out there, and the abuse happens at home. THERE IS NO REASON why a PERSON will hurt another. I hope that I never come across a parent who does.
I am not making a summary of Kate & Henry's story, but I wish you guys will read it. And recommend it to other people too. So we will know how it is to be in their shoes.
“I’m sorry,” he says, sincerity in every line of his body and ringing in his voice.
“I’m sorry you had to go through al of that alone. I’m sorry for everything you are going through now. But I promise you one thing.”
He leans back, taking my face between his hands and gazing intently into my eyes.
“You will never be alone again.”