In the midst of the terrible reality, realistically tiny glimmers of hope shine like candles fighting the darkness. A bleakly optimistic reminder to hold on to what is good.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Watkins offers a frank view of life in a juvenile detention center… Little by little, a multi-dimensional portrait of Sadie emerges, exposing her vulnerabilities and struggles with the mistakes she’s made… [A]bsorbing and wrenching.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
[T]eens, especially reluctant readers, will be drawn into the tension and action.
—School Library Journal
The truth of surviving juvie is told with unflinching honesty and may be an eye-opener to many readers. The subject matter should appeal to reluctant readers.
The point that not guilty doesn’t mean innocent … is subtly made, and readers may detect it through the overt story of Sadie as a strong and caring heroine making the best of a bad situation.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Paint[s] a picture of a life of a teenager who struggles to make good choices. In the end, a hopeful picture emerges for Sadie and her family. This book could fit well in hi/lo collections.
—Library Media Connection
Compelling… A haunting story of loyalty, regret, and the fervent hope for second chances.