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The Gatekeepers
Contributor(s): Lancaster, Jen
ISBN: 0373212615     ISBN-13: 9780373212613
Publisher: Harlequin Books Teen
    OUR PRICE: $17.09  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: October 2017
Annotation: When a student's suicide appears to trigger a rash of self-destructive acts throughout their once-idyllic small town, a group of students form a watchdog group to prevent further tragedies. By the author of The Tao of Martha. 75,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Depression, Mental; Fiction.
Suicidal behavior; Fiction.
Anxiety; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2017041912
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 10-12, Age 15-18
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.25" H x 5.25" W x 1.50" (1.15 lbs) 452 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 October)

Gr 10 Up—North Shore is a seemingly perfect Illinois town; its motto is "We breed excellence." But underneath the porcelain exterior, there are large cracks in the foundation. The suicide rate for teens is one of the highest in the nation, and each kid is under intense pressure to be the absolute best at academics, sports, and extracurricular activities. To ease the tension, many students turn to partying and opioid abuse, which are all too easy to support using their absent millionaire parents' bars and medicine cabinets. New girl Simone is unsettled by the compulsory perfection. She quickly finds solace in new friends. Her rival is Mallory, who is dating the most popular guy in school—until he breaks up with her for Simone. But tragedy rears its ugly head when a beloved student commits suicide, and that event is quickly followed by another. Simone and Mallory are too shattered to be rivals. They create the Gatekeepers Club with the intent to integrate a viable support system into the school to prevent these suicides. A diverse group of teens come together to try to create a positive future. The first half of this best-selling author's YA fiction debut is slow. There is a large cast of characters and alternating perspectives. But as the characters gravitate toward one another, cohesion in the narrative begins to form. This is an adequate read; however, it sometimes lacks the gravitas the subject matter deserves through overuse of inauthentic teen vernacular and underdeveloped characters. VERDICT Recommended as an additional purchase, especially for libraries looking to expand their mental health collections.—Melanie Leivers, Palm Beach Country Library System, FL

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.