Hey, another review stop! This is a review of YA fiction We’re Done by Judy Irwin. I joined the blog tour because the book description seemed quite interesting and it’s about a very real and important topic. It’s about a bully who finds himself on the other side of things.
What if it turns out that YOU’RE the bully – and you didn’t know it?
Up until now, life has been good for 13-year-old Luke. He’s good at sports, attractive, and he’s a big wheel at Heyworth Academy, his private school. He likes to tease, and poke fun at the other kids, but that’s just because he likes having fun. But things start to fall apart, six weeks into eighth grade, when Luke commits an act of ‘goofing around’ that ends up costing him his best friend and his beloved private school.
After he’s expelled, Luke transfers to his local school, Carlyle. Now, he’s on the outside looking in. His looks, and background (not to mention his Heyworth hoodie), make him stand out, and the tough guys zero in on him right away.
The upside-down world that Luke finds himself in at Carlyle gives him a whole new way of looking at things. Can he recover from losing his school, and his best friend, and find new friends and a way to fit in at Carlyle?
We’re Done is a really quick read. No surprise there since this is a book about young kids for young kids. It’s pretty easy to follow and is perfect for teenagers and tweens. The book tackles the subject of bullying very well from the perspective of a bully. Luke, the supposed bully, doesn’t realize how his actions and words affect others until he finds himself on the other side of the fence.
The main character Luke comes from a well off family. Not a lot of details go into how well off they are, but you can guess from the fact that Luke and his sister are in a private school and that his mom doesn’t work that they are certainly not poor and probably live in a nice house with nice furniture, and other nice things. However, there are some details that hint at a not-so-perfect family. Luke’s dad is always on business trips and his mom seems to be constantly depressed. The book does not explicitly say that these are reasons for Luke’s actions, but it shows that Luke’s life isn’t perfect.
Luke goes to a private school, is used to being a popular guy in school, and loves to “have fun” at the expense of others. He truly does not understand that his jokes hurt others. Unfortunately for him his last “joke” gets him expelled and transferred to a public school where he isn’t the big guy on campus anymore. He meets new people–bullies and bullying victims alike–and realizes the gravity of his former actions.
Sometimes we don’t realize how much our words and actions hurt other people. This book shows us to be more careful and thoughtful with each other. Although this is a pretty light read and shows consequences of bullying that are far lighter than what we see on the news these days, it doesn’t stray from sending its message across. Bullying is a serious issue and we all have to work together to stop it.
I received a review copy of this book at no cost and with no obligations. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.
Judy will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour! Visit the other tour stops and comment for more chances of winning! :)
Read an Excerpt
Luke looked at his mother. “So it’s not — ” He turned to look at Mr. Kennedy. “OK, now I get it.” He pushed his hair behind his ears. “I was just trying to be funny,” he said. “How can that be wrong? I mean, I’m sorry that Jill was upset. If you want, I’ll apologize — ”
“Luke, please let me continue,” said Mr. Kennedy. “As you know, we introduced a new anti-bullying policy two years ago. We decided that, because we wanted Heyworth to be a safe, nurturing place for all students, that we’d have a zero-tolerance approach when it came to bullying.”
“I know,” said Luke. “You’d have to be a moron NOT to know about it. We hear about it all the time — zero tolerance, three strikes and you’re out, yada yada, yada. I know all that. But having fun isn’t the same thing as bullying — at least, not the last time I looked. I mean, we’re kids. We’re going to goof around. So I’m not sure what you’re saying.”
“Luke, this is what I’m saying,” said Mr. Kennedy. “This is your third strike. I’m very sorry to do this, but I am asking you to leave Heyworth.”
Luke’s mom raised her handkerchief to her mouth, and she let out a muffled sob. “Luke, you see this is serious,” she said.
“This is nuts,” said Luke. “I’m not going to leave Heyworth. This is my school. Mr. Kennedy, you can’t do this. I’m on the swim team. I’m captain of the soccer team. And you know my parents are really involved in this school. Mom, don’t you agree? This is not possible.”
About the author
Judy Irwin writes books about kids dealing with everyday stuff, like parents and divorce, friendships and bullies, and figuring out how to handle different situations and circumstances. So far, she’s written two books: We’re Done, and What Did You Say? We’re Done is about 13-year-old Luke and how he figures out what went wrong when he’s kicked out of school for a bullying incident. In What Did You Say?, 12-year-old Tash tries to figure out what life will be like following her parents’ divorce. In this book, which takes place at a trailer park up north, Tash first meets Luke, Jon and Polly.
Judy lives in Toronto, Canada, with a dog, a cat, and two hamsters, plus her husband and two children, ages 10 and 13. She studied English Literature at the University of Toronto. She always wanted to be a writer. She wrote her first book in fourth grade – it was about a boy called Japan, who lived in Japan. In addition to writing books, Judy is a freelance business writer.