Seventh-grader Sierra Shepard has always been the perfect student, so when she sees that she accidentally brought her mother’s lunch bag to school, including a paring knife, she immediately turns in the knife at the school office. Much to her surprise, her beloved principal places her in in-school suspension and sets a hearing for her expulsion, citing the school’s ironclad no weapons policy. While there, Sierra spends time with Luke, a boy who’s known as a troublemaker, and discovers that he’s not the person she assumed he would be–and that the lines between good and bad aren’t as clear as she once thought.
3/5 Knives 🔪🔪🔪
I didn’t really know what to expect from this book. One of the reasons why I chose it in the first place was because I thought the premise sounded really different and intriguing. I don’t think I ever attended a school that had a zero-tolerance policy, and reading about this girl’s experience with that makes me really disagree with it because I don’t think there should be a blanket punishment.
That being said, I think this book was very middle of the road. I liked Sierra, but there were parts of the story that were a bit too extreme to be believed of a story that’s supposed to be realistic fiction. For one, her father is borderline abusive and yet this isn’t addressed properly throughout the whole story. For another, there’s even a little bit of romance for Sierra that springs out of the blue and seems completely unfounded.
Aside from these extremes, the book didn’t really generate much interest for me. It was very slow to develop, with not too much happening throughout the book. I do appreciate that I didn’t know how it was going to end, whether Sierra was going to be expelled or not. I think Mills did a good job of keeping the tension Sierra is feeling throughout the book high. It makes for a bit more excitement.
Overall, I think this is an interesting look at how schools reprimand children and how children handle rules that seem unfair.
Thoughts & Thanks:
Thank you so much for reading my review! I hope I’ve helped aid you in your decision to read this book. If you have read it or if you’re thinking about reading it, let me know what you thought in the comments! And as always, happy reading!