Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials
By: Rosalind Wiseman
Looking for a new beginning after a terrible mean girl past, Charlie Healey realizes there’s no escaping high school drama
Charlie Healey thinks Harmony Falls is the beginning of a whole new life. Middle school was brutal. But high school is Charlie’s big chance to start over and stay out of drama, except that on her first day she runs into Will, her ex–best friend, who had moved away. Now a varsity athlete and hotter than Charlie remembered, Will hangs with the crowd running the school. But Charlie doesn’t understand their power until an innocent delivery guy falls victim to a near-deadly hazing prank.
Torn between doing what’s right and her secret feelings for Will, Charlie must decide whether to turn in her very best friend or live with the guilt of knowing what he did.
Rosalind Wiseman’s first novel for young adults is a fresh, funny, and juicy read about friendship, betrayal, and how far some will go to be accepted.
summary from book
My Rating: 3.5/5
I found this book to be a fun and enjoyably read with an underlying message revolving around high school politics.
I havent' read many YA novels where the main characters are freshman and I liked that Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials incorporated characters of this age. It's difficult starting a new school and having not only to make new friends but to find your place as well. I think Rosalind has crafted a book that many readers can relate to, especially teens entering or already in their first year of high school.
A lot of books published in the YA genre focus on female bullying. In Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials, you have mention of Charlie's past experiences with two mean girls but really, this book is more about male bullying and how people often let it get out of control. I liked this twist in plot. I think it's important to vocalize exactly what goes on in high school, especailly when you're a vulnerable freshman looking to be accepted by your peers.
There are a lot of funny and sweet moments in this novel as well. I found the pacing in this book to be interesting mostly because all of the action starts to take place a few chapters before the book draws to an end. Nonetheless, there's quite a bit of other stuff happening prior to those moments that will hold your attention.
As far as characters go, I really liked Charlie. The females in this book were level headed and not afraid to be themselves or to stand up for what they believed in. I really liked them a lot. Two other characters I also really enjoyed were Nidhi, one of Charlie's friends and Luke, Charlie's older brother.
All in all, this was a quick read full of relatable and honest characters. If you're looking for a fun book to delve into accompanied by a message and a hint of romance, I'd check this one out.