- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Viking Adult (August 18, 2011)
- ISBN-10: 0670022845
- Source: Publisher
Shelley has been forced to deal with more than the average teen should: her parents’ humiliating divorce and a near-deadly bullying attack. Shelley and her mother now seek reprieve in the remote Honeysuckle Cottage in the country.
Shelley’s mother refers to herself and Shelley as mice, not seeking a home but a place to hide. Like mice, they are timid, shy, and prefer to simply be left to their own devices.
“Mice are never assertive”
Shelley is now schooled by tutors, living a peaceful and quiet life in the country. Until, that is, an intruder changes their life forever, on the eve of Shelley’s sixteenth birthday, no less. The attack forces the mother & daughter duo to once again make huge changes in their lives, but also awakening something within Shelley previously kept hidden. Shelley and her mother are forced to do things they never imagined in an attempt to return their quiet country life to normal.
Shelley’s character is a completely sympathetic one; the torture she is forced to go through on a daily basis is heartbreaking. She keeps the bullying to herself until her life is quite literally in danger. Reece’s portrayal of youth bullying is accurate and real, a pain that many youth have to face on a regular basis. The bullying is traumatic enough, but the horror she and her mother have to face that was supposed to be their salvation is quite terrifying.
Obvious, due to the subject matter, Mice is not a light book. The two main characters are forced to take part in actions normally not even considered, all for the sake of their own safety. Ultimately, however, a sense of growth and recovery is experienced by both Shelley and her mother. Due to the age of the main character, Shelley, I can see this as a book read by young adults, given they are warned of the subject matter. I think it’s important for youth to read books detailing real-life situations, not sugar coating or hiding the impact. Mice is a book I wholeheartedly recommend.