Hyacinth Girls is a sensitive, well thought out and beautifully executed book. It is a book that we need to read. Feb 11, Kelly Gunderman rated it it was amazing. Hyacinth Girls reminds me so much of that book, only much deeper. This book, as well as a few other books about bullying and the drastic consequences that it has on its victims, tend to shed light on the issue, and give it the light it deserves so that more attention can be paid to it, and everyone can understand what a serious problem bullying is.
This book starts off with one of our main characters, Rebecca, being called away from work into the principal's office of the fourteen year old girl she has guardianship over. According to the art teacher, Callie walked over to her peer, Robyn, and threw red paint all over her. Rebecca cannot believe that Callie would be this cruel, and Callie's friends lie and say that Robyn dumped paint on herself to get Callie in trouble. Things escalate from there, with notes showing up at Callie's mother's grave, at their apartment, and so on, and Rebecca's and Callie's stories come to light.
We don't exactly find out what really happens until almost the end of the novel, but we are given bits and pieces of it throughout the book.
Between chapters are Callie's interactions with Robyn, from memories to e-mails and instant messages. I read this book in less than a day, because I was completely hooked and wanted to see what was going to come of Callie's story. It was a fast, enjoyable read that really left an impression. Hyacinth Girls is a heartbreaking look at how bullying can affect pretty much everyone Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. View 2 comments. Jun 23, Natalie Tyler rated it it was ok Shelves: not-my-style , recent-fiction-mediocre.
This book disappointed me and it might not have had the reviews not been so strong. I won't summarize the plot because to do so will reveal spoilers: 1 The authors use of the TS Eliot figure of "The Hyacinth Girl" is quite strained. It's not at all clear how the characrersor which charactersare "hyacinth girls" or what makes one a hyacinth girl. This should have been the focus on the novel. That part is appalling. Jun 03, Bookphile rated it liked it Shelves: amazon-vine , , fiction , arc. Some parts of this book are very powerful, and I thought it did a good job of delving into the psychology, but it fell apart at the end a bit.
Complete review to come. Full review: What I liked most about Hyacinth Girls is that it's a more complicated novel than it appears to be at first blush. Yes, it is a story about bullying, but it's a story that treats the issue in a subtler manner, which I think is to its advantage. Bullying is a far more complex issue than it's sometimes given credit for be Some parts of this book are very powerful, and I thought it did a good job of delving into the psychology, but it fell apart at the end a bit.
Bullying is a far more complex issue than it's sometimes given credit for being, and I think this book poses some deeper questions that have a great deal or relevance even to those of us whose teenage years are in the rearview mirror. Some spoilers to follow. One big thing to this novel's credit is that it doesn't strive to make any of its characters entirely likable.
This doesn't mean that they're sympathetic, but I admire when authors make their characters flawed and even downright unlikable, because there seems to be a trend today in publishing that demands that we love all characters all the time--unless they're the bad guys of course. How does this have any resonance with the real world, and how does this make literature interesting?
Human beings are complicated and often contradictory, so I tend to be far more invested in books that reflect this side of human nature. Both Callie and Rebecca fall under this umbrella. There were times when I felt sorry for them and wanted to them to overcome their obstacles, and there were times when I was disgusted with them. Rebecca suffers from a serious case of willful blindness throughout much of the novel, but isn't this a danger with most parents?
It's hard to see your own children objectively, especially when you've known them since the moment they were born and, therefore, tend to think you know everything that's on their minds. I liked that Rebecca sometimes hadn't the faintest clue what was really going on with Callie, especially because I find this very realistic. It's not just that parents will see what they want to see, it's also that, as in Rebecca's case, parents are sometimes so stressed about doing the right thing and being the best parent they can be that to face up to any shortcomings in their children would mean they would have to face their own failures.
That's painful, to say the least. As for Callie, though she isn't a perfect person, I did feel sorry for her. It was easy to understand why she felt as trapped as she did, and even why she reacted as she did--not that it made her behavior excusable. Adults tend to acknowledge that children feel intense pressure to conform, but they often fail to understand that they face a lot of the same pressures. After all, how many of us tend to tailor our behaviors because we know that if we act otherwise we'll upset someone we don't want to upset.
In some ways, we're all pretending, and I think the strength of the book is that it explores this theme. It's not just children who bully, but adults as well, and I think that's a very important point. There are many times when adults tell children one thing and then act in a manner that's contrary, and I think it would behoove us all as a society if we thought deeply about that. Unfortunately, for me, the book slipped on a downward slope toward the end. It's not so much that I wanted a worst-case scenario ending, but the ending that I did get felt a little too sitcom for me, wrapping everything up in a neat box.
Yes, the characters suffer and there are consequences, but the ending seemed to me to be stretching a bit. This was another one of those books that I wasn't expecting to enjoy as much as I did. At first, I just did not like the characters very much. Rebecca is guardian to 13 year old Callie, who is the daughter to Rebecca's best friend and her cousin.
Both Callie's parents are dead and this book goes back and forth between what is happening with Callie and the events leading to her parents' death. At first I though Rebecca was another parent refusing to see her child as anything but perfect and this annoyed me. Despite witnesses, Rebecca refused to believe that her child could possibly be a bully.
Instead, she believes Callie's excuse that Robyn must be lying and just saying this stuff to get attention. But I kind of get why she refused to see it and that question lay at the heart of this book. How well does anyone really know their children? What I didn't like and what the author was maybe trying to say was that Rebecca could be a bully just like anyone else.
The way she spoke about Robyn the girl who said Callie bullied her and her mother just made my skin crawl. When Robyn was with the mothers of Callie's friends, they reminded me just as much of the mean girls in high school, just older. The book also has excerpts that Callie is writing regarding her interactions with Robyn, the girl she is accused of bullying. These excerpts made it even harder to figure out who was telling the truth.
According to these excerpts of IM's and emails, they started out as friends. So what went wrong? The last part of the book brought everything together when it finally told the events from Callie's POV. I was torn between feeling bad for Callie and being mad at her. And there were so many mean girls who influenced Callie's behavior.
Reading Callie's POV made me remember just how intense adolescence could feel.
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Every heartbreak was magnified by a thousand and it was so easy to spiral because of what people thought about you. In Callie's case, she went through so much.
It really just hurt when she thought her dead mother would have regretted having her because of things she had done. This book was very moving and had very real characters and emotions. This was a great read! May 14, Dani rated it liked it. This book was not what I was expecting when I read the cover. I was thinking of a cliched YA bully story, and this was nothing like that. Callie comes across in the beginning of the book as a popular, blonde, clique-leader think Regina George and the Plastics from Mean Girls.
Both of her parents died when she was young and Rebecca, her mother's best friend, steps in to take care of her. Rebecca has never had children of her own, she struggles to make ends meet, she doesn't have any love intere This book was not what I was expecting when I read the cover. Rebecca has never had children of her own, she struggles to make ends meet, she doesn't have any love interests, and she basically comes across as a loner who is also suffering from the death of Callie's mom.
She has known Callie from birth and tries to raise and understand Callie, but constantly comparing her to her mother puts a strain on their relationship that Rachel doesn't see until it's almost too late. I admit that I didn't believe Callie was all innocent like Rebecca believed, but I didn't expect the outcome whatsoever.
I liked that this story flipped back and forth in time between Rebecca and Joyce as teenagers, the original "Hyacinth Girls," and now. I really got enthralled when we got Callie's point of view halfway through the novel. It was unexpected and what finally captured my attention. What I found somewhat remarkable were the actual emails, texts, and Facebook messages. It made the story feel so much more real, because we use all of those things today, and I could easily see how this could have played out and probably does daily. May 12, Patty rated it really liked it.
Key characters are Rebecca Callie's "friends" Dallas and Ella and yet another friend My very brief story summary that includes bits and bobs from the beginning, middle and end of this book This is almost like a trickster tale It's amazing There are tons of complicated misperceptions until we find out the truth about Callie.
My actual most favorite part of this book I am not sure that I had a favorite part. Much of the book was sad and pretty intense and its focus was on bullies and the aftermath of bullying. Good lessons for readers but most of the time bullies don't really get the message until it's too late My actual true feelings about this book and whether or not other potential readers will enjoy it I feel as though I can't fully explain this book to potential readers.
The book sort of starts and ends with the billboard which is sort of a lesson in itself. I am not sure if there is resolution in this book, either. Rebecca puts up the billboard as a tribute Jul 20, Mandilynn rated it it was amazing. I had a hard time putting this book down. It was very well written and the author has a way of making you really feel for everyone involved. I was the victim of bullying when I was in school and unfortunately, for the last two years as an adult from another adult female whom I have absolutely no connection to in real life.
I am also a parent to two young children, one with Autism, so this book hit pretty close to home. I felt for Callie at the end. I understood how at her age you could get mixed I had a hard time putting this book down. I understood how at her age you could get mixed up with the wrong crowd and truly believe that your words had no impact on others.
I also completely understand the need at that age to want to fit in. However, the part of the story that I really felt the most connected to was the worthlessness that the victims of bullying really feel and how it seems like no one believes you or wants to help you. I've been there. The author also got the story spot on when it comes to the reactions of the parents involved. No one wants to believe or admit that their child could be that cruel to another person, but it happens. While this book is a work of fiction, it mirrors the real life epidemic that is cyber bullying.
Once something is said or written online, it cannot be taken back. I think this book really is an eye opener for tweens, teens, and even adults. Jun 04, Rana rated it really liked it. It's been a couple of weeks since I finished this book so the details are a little hazy but in honor of book club, I'm going to post this review to the best of my ability. Lafcadio Hearn. Josh Malerman. Every Man Dies Alone. Hans Fallada. Robert B. Reed Farrel Coleman. The Titanic Secret. Jack Du Brul and Clive Cussler. The Imaginary Corpse. Tyler Hayes. Mother Knows Best. Kira Peikoff. The Earthquake Bird.
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The Hyacinth Girl - Chapter 1 - MossyLunaMoth - Naruto [Archive of Our Own]
Alan Bradley. The guards from before poofed back into existence with Yamato and Sai in tow, both of them looking a little worse for wear. Sakura felt elation seeing her former captain, glad he had managed to return after his capture. She gave him a small smile and he returned it with a tired one of his own. A look of confusion crossed over both of their faces. He stabbed Naruto," Sakura answered him, her expression turning sullen.
A flash of surprise passed over Sai's neutral face while Yamato grimaced at the information. I believe he's going to attempt taking over all of the villages," Sakura informed her. She still wasn't entirely sure what his plan was, but she believed it was warranted to tell Tsunade of the danger.
Sakura knew her teacher and the other Kage's were powerful, but there was no telling how they would fare against Sasuke.
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Now that he possessed the rinnegan, she could only imagine the destruction he was capable of. Giving Tsunade a respectful bow, Sakura made her way over to her new team. Everything is going to be fine , she attempted to soothe herself. Sasuke will be taken care of and then I'm free to come back and heal everyone like usual. Sakura walked with her team in awkward silence to the outside entrance of the academy when Yamato suddenly halted them. She couldn't help but to fidget beneath her teammates heavy gazes as they all paused to stand still.
We'll set out then," Yamato instructed after a moment. He looked like he wanted to ask her something, but was refraining from doing so. Nodding that she understood, Sakura instantly set off for her parent's home. She would deal with their questions later, needing a few moments to herself to fully process everything that happened. Moving quickly through the heavily populated streets, Sakura began to wonder if her parents managed to escape the war unscathed. That worry vanished, however, the moment she entered her house.
Sakura wasn't sure how long she'd be staying in seclusion, so she opted to grab a handful of different supplies to stuff into her bag. Her body was on autopilot as she gathered her things while her mind was going into overdrive. She almost felt nauseous from the worry she had for Naruto and Kakashi, her racing thoughts filled with the worst possible scenarios. It only took her five minutes to gather her stuff before she was scrambling back down the stairs.
After reaching the bottom of the staircase she was met with concerned looks from both her parents. They would worry themselves to death if they knew what was happening out there - that their daughter was being chased by her psychotic former teammate. She imagined her parents would be so disappointed when they heard what Sasuke had done. They always teased her over the crush she had on him, asking her when they were going to get married.
Not in a thousand years , she decided. Meeting her team back at their rendezvous point, Sakura realized it was starting to get late, putting her on edge. The last thing she wanted was for them to be completed blindsided by Sasuke in the dark. Yamato must have sensed her worry because he gave her a reassuring look. The Hokage expects he's going to chase after you so she's stationing several teams along our path," Sai interjected.
I see, so I'm going to be bait , she thought bitterly. If it meant Sasuke was caught for good, she could live with that. She hoped it would give her enough chakra to last their trip. They set off without another word, reaching the forests lining the outskirts of Konoha in no time. The chakra pills she took earlier had begun to filter through her system, but she was still unable to shake off the feeling of exhaustion. As they hopped along the tree branches, Sai trailed ever closer to her side.
She could already tell he was going to ask her something. In fact, both of them looked like they were teeming with questions. Something like that, I guess, " she answered with a shrug of her shoulders, the action causing a lace of pain to travel along her neck and arms. She bit her lip and forced her expression to remain neutral to hide her pain. She wasn't so sure that Konoha was out of the woods just yet. Sasuke has always been weird like that.
Sometimes I think we've always been nothing more than obstacles to him," she agonized, her face twisting in a painful expression. Sasuke would always remain an enigma to her. Once again she tried to calm her overwhelming emotions, opting to put on a calm facade. Knowing she was never that good hiding her emotions, she figured they probably saw right through her anyways.
Naruto would chase Sasuke to the ends of the earth if it meant returning him to Konoha," she affirmed. It was painful for her to acknowledge Naruto cared so deeply for Sasuke and yet the man had no qualms with betraying him. It won't be long before he's chasing after him again if he's not already captured," Yamato said. Sakura was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, knowing Naruto was the type to weasel his way out of the worst situations. That's right, he's not gonna let himself die by Sasuke's hands , she mused.
Kakashi is the one who's at the most risk. Swallowing thickly, Sakura attempted to think of happier thoughts. Even with lighthearted memories of her childhood floating through her mind, Kakashi still lingered in the back of her mind. They decided to settle for the night in a remote clearing located inside the forest. She calculated they were at least several miles away from Konoha and only another day trip to the border. Realistically, they needed to move farther, but Sakura was just about to collapse from complete chakra exhaustion.
She never complained nor mentioned once how weak she felt, but they seemed to sense it anyways from the worried glances they kept giving her as time passed. Once Yamato carefully observed their surroundings and confirmed this was a safe location to set up camp, Sakura nearly fell to the ground from fatigue. She wanted nothing more than to unfurl her bedroll and then pass out on it.
I'm going to take first watch for the night and Sai will be second," Yamato said. She could tell he wasn't going to leave any room for protest. It only took Sai a moment to prepare a fire, which she was thankful for. Yamato appeared to consider this for a moment before shaking his head. We don't want to risk our location getting into any enemies hands. While her teammates moved into their respective positions, she went and placed her bedroll close to the fire.
She didn't even bother with changing into her nightclothes, opting to huddle beneath her thick blanket. Sakura thought with her body begging for sleep she would pass out instantly, and yet her tumultuous thoughts wouldn't allow for rest. Normally, staring into the campfire's crackling flames would help lull her into sleep, but all it did was make her think of Sasuke's red sharingan. The smoke wasn't helping much either - it only served as reminder of the scorched battleground from before. Closing her eyes tightly, Sakura shifted her face into her pillow and moved the blanket above her head.
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