I just completed reading this book, and although the overall message of the book was good, I thought it bit off more than it could chew, and touched on every topic, but didn't go in depth with anything. At its core, this is a commentary on the juvenile justice system, and how flawed it can be.
First of all, this book really broke my heart at the way the Violetta was treated by her family. They chose not to see her at all, and I just felt like a family would support each other more, even through something as horrific as what she did. Secondly, this book touched on more topics than I think it should have-- social justice, rehabbing the juvenile justice system, characters that were gay/lesbian, and use of alternative pronouns-- this book delved into so many topics as "commentary" but didn't really focus on one enough to make a difference. Even though the book went quite a lot into the justice system, it was a confusing take away message. (In the book there was an alternative "punishment" to just prision time for juvenile offenders-- The Trials-- but the book seemed to say that that system wasn't the best either, leaving me feeling confused. Is the author saying that the current method is good? That alternatives would not be as good as the current penal system? Or that something different should be come up with to cut down on recidivism?)
It was a nice effort, but in the end I was unsatisfied with the book.