Monday, September 30, 2013

Bullying Under Attack - a Teen Ink Book

Bullying Under Attack is an anthology written by teenagers about teenagers. They're bullied or they bully. Or they watch. Either way, they write about their experiences (or sometimes express it in verse).

In this book, there are active bullies, passive bullies and victims. Passive bullies are bystanders who see what's going on but don't intervene.

Personally, I found this book to be a little repetitive. After a while, I could see that all the victims fit a mold, all the bullies fit a mold, and all the bystanders fit a mold. I'd actually like to hear the account of an unrepentant bully - it would be really eye opening for me. And since I'm not very good at appreciating poetry (Robert Frost and Wilfred Owen is as much as I can handle), I found the poetry to be overwrought and too emotional at times (to be even more blunt, it feels like angst from a teenage blog). But, I'm admittedly challenged when it comes to appreciating poetry, so don't take my word for it.

And while it may sound strange, I have no idea which category I fit into. I went to an all girls school for ten years and I didn't see anything. For example, I only realised we had cliques about two years after we graduated, and I just realised that we had popular and non-popular girls. Up till now, I always thought we were all friends (so I had some close friends and some not so close friends).

So to me, school is a place where you close ranks around one another. Now that I think about it, if a girl was disliked, she was disliked by the whole cohort (but we would still invite her to class events and such. At least, from what I saw, the dislike was only manifested in complaining - we were, at the very least, civil (if not friendly) in person.

I would say that for just getting me to realise this, Bullying Under Attack has already evoked some change in me. And me criticising the book aside, doesn't that mean that it's already achieved its aim?

Disclaimer: I got this book free from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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