I have to admit that I was not prepared for how dark the story was going to be. I knew it was going to be gritty, but it caught me by surprise! That fact alone, though, is not why this story had me turning (e)page after (e)page. What struck me was the sensitivity with which the topics of abuse, bullying and racism were treated. Certainly, this is not a fuzzy-hugs book. It is brutal and scary, but that is the world in which these teens live and the alienation that both Atlanta and the supporting characters felt were vividly portrayed and certainly the product of an author who knows what he is doing.
Just FYI, it is written in present tense which always throws me for a loop at first, but one quickly adjusts.
Four stars because I'm saving the fifth for the coming titles in the series. I have a feeling that things are going to get even better as the author becomes more comfortable with writing the character in future titles.