Title: Until It Hurts to Stop
Author: Jennifer R. Hubbard
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publication Date: September 12th, 2013
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
In seventh grade, Maggie Camden was the class outcast. Every day, the other girls tripped her, pinched her, trapped her in the bathroom, told her she would be better off dead. Four years have passed since then, and Maggie’s tormentors seem to have moved on. The ringleader of them all, Raleigh Barringer, even moved out of town. But Maggie has never stopped watching for attacks, and every laugh still sounds like it’s at her expense. The only time Maggie feels at peace is when she’s hiking up in the mountains with her best friend, Nick. Lately, though, there’s a new sort of tension between the two of them—a tension both dangerous and delicious. But how can Maggie expect anything more out of Nick when all she’s ever been told is that she’s ugly, she’s pathetic, she’s unworthy of love? And how can she ever feel safe, now that Raleigh Barringer is suddenly—terrifyingly—back in town?
My Thoughts and Reflection:
It's hard to decide where to start with this book, but I guess I should just start at the beginning. We meet Maggie, a teenage girl still scarred by brutal Middle School bullying. I guess this is where I found my first problem. I mean, bullying is awful and cruel. I'm not denying that it can leave pain long after it occurs, but in Maggie's case, her tormentor moves away, and no one bothered her after that. I feel like she should have matured a bit more and grown up.
Now when her tormentor Raleigh returns, my second problem arises. There is all this tension and anxiety from Maggie, but at the end of the book we realize that Maggie was really just projecting it all. Raleigh wasn't thinking twice about Maggie, and it was Maggie's own inability to move that lead to the confrontation that eventually happened. The confrontation, however, wasn't event hat much of a high point of the book, and sort of felt like a plot point that just ended abruptly.
Having said this, in my opinion this book is not really about Maggie and Raleigh, it's about Maggie and her friend Nick.
Their relationship was completely cliché. Boy and girl, best friends, boy gets girlfriend, girl gets jealous, boy breaks up with girlfriend, boy and girl date. I felt like I was watching a bad Disney made for T.V. movie.
I think that Maggie's other friend does add the depth to this book, (which it desperately needed). She points out Maggie's self absorption and is really the only character to really help Maggie grow as a person.
On a side note, I did appreciate the depth of Nick due to the situation with his father, as well as the fact that he and Maggie were so dedicated and interested in such an alternative sport.
All in all, Maggie was sometimes completely oblivious and it was painful to read as she made dumb mistakes, other times she was genuine and sincere.
This book has left me with the impression that this author/publisher duo is poor at writing blurbs, as well as a book of substance. I hope that in the future the author can hone her talent into something meaningful.