*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

"Gotcha!" by Shelley Hrdlitschka

Senior year involves many traditions; pictures, yearbooks, applying for colleges and scholarships.  Slippery Rock High had it's own tradition, a game called Gotcha!  But this year the school has put an end to the game because of the damage caused in the past.  The students aren't happy with the decision and make a plan to continue the game outside of school.  This is where we meet Katie.

Katie world is beginning to fall apart.  Her father has recently moved out, she's struggling to earn enough money to pay for college (not to mention all of her graduation expenses), and she's really not interested in playing Gotcha.  She isn't interested in taking part in the game, but feels pressured by other students and her role on the student council, so she signs up to play.  Almost as soon as the game begins, so do the problems.  Friends are betraying each other in hopes of winning the game (and the $2120 prize money).  Students are becoming paranoid and refuse to go anywhere alone or allow their classmates into their houses.  And this is just the start.  What will happen when the stakes become even higher?

The characters in the book are very real.  Though I don't always approve of the actions of the characters (Katie included), I can easily believe that people would act this way in real life.  This book is also a real eye-opener.  I have often seen news stories and wondered how the situation escalated so far.  I think this book is a fairly accurate portrayal of how a fun game can become total mayhem.

I read this book a few years ago and enjoyed it.  As I re-read it, I still liked the book, though I did get angry at Katie towards the end of the book.  Based on her actions throughout the rest of the novel, her character seemed to change completely for a few chapters.  But overall this is a great read.  Shelley Hrdlitschka has written quite a few books.  In addition to Gotcha!, I have also read Sister Wife, Dancing Naked, and Kat's Fall, all of which are books I would recommend.

Happy Reading (and Black Friday shopping)!

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