As someone who was bullied in high school (and still carries some of those emotional scars), I’m usually not a fan of books that center around bullying. D. Anne Love’s Defying the Diva was a little bit different, though.
At the end of her freshman year in high school, Haley Patterson becomes the target of the school’s worst “mean girl.” She is picked on, laughed at, gossiped about, and Camilla, the queen bee, sends Haley an email suggesting she kill herself. Even Haley’s supposed friends turn on her. In fact, she becomes a pariah at school. Haley says nothing and just hopes to get through the rest of the school year and leave everything to spend the summer with her aunt.
During the summer, Haley is still dealing with the scars from the previous school year. It is difficult for her to make friends because she is scared that they will eventually decide she’s worthless and turn on her. Through her job at a local resort, however, she meets some people who refuse to allow her to hide away. Through their steadfast friendships, Haley becomes stronger and realizes that she should stand up for herself.
Haley eventually learns that mean girl Camilla has been bullying other girls, and injuries resulted from those actions. One of Haley’s former friends thinks she should come forward with what happened to her during the school year. Haley really doesn’t want to relive that pain. She has to decide whether she should say nothing or fight for herself and prevent Camilla from bullying other girls and getting away with it. I’ll leave it to you to find out what happens…