I cannot actually say I enjoyed this book. In fact, I can truthfully say that I did not like it at all. What this poor child went through was heartbreaking; the emotional equivalent to a major disaster - like an earthquake. That said, it is EXTREMELY well-written and paints a vivid (too vivid) picture of the life of Chelle, a 13 (then 14) year old girl forced to endure a painful existence that no child should ever have to know about - much less live through. Some of it was self-inflicted, and make no mistake: Chelle's self-image was heartbreakingly poor. The rest was outside her control, but no less horrendous. I spent much of the book wishing I could just grab her from the pages and save her from her situation myself. The raw emotion expressed in the book is just... incredible. If you are looking for a dark and gritty read about the darker side of life, and enjoy many controversial or taboo topics, then this book is for you. I, however, enjoy reading as an escape from the worst parts of reality and found that this book is going to require me to find a therapist to put my broken psyche back together again.
I rate this book 4 platypires. I had a hard time deciding. As I said, it was well-written and was a smooth read, but due to the content I could not bring myself to enjoy it. Also, I really, really, really, absolutely, positively, REALLY, think this book needs to have a content warning in the synopsis. The topics covered are tough, gritty, and could serve as triggers for some people. I would have rated it a 3 based on my enjoyment of this story, BUT the technical merits gained it an extra platypire back.