I’d rate this book somewhere between 3 and 3.5 stars. As one who was definitely part of the cafeteria fringe in high school, I was super eager to see Robbins’ analysis of the high school outcasts and why they tend to have a greater sense of creativity and imagination and tend to find success in pursuing their dreams outside of high school. Robbins presents what she calls “quirk theory” wherein the quirks and idiosyncrasies that label one as an outcast in high school are the same traits that adults praise them for later in life.
I myself was the quiet, introverted one who preferred the company of books to people. That’s still pretty true to some extent. My passion for books has transformed from quiet reading to working as a marketing assistant with a publishing company and actively working on this blog. I did often feel as though the experience and analysis that Robbins presents was an experience that I knew all too well. She discusses the ideas of how group think is rampant among teens in groups with a high rate of conformity. She addresses the difficulty and nearly impossible task for teens to transfer from one stereotyped group to another. One must work to cast aside stereotypes before any changes can be made, if these changes can be made at all.
I rated it so low because the book lacked the in depth analysis that I think the topic affords. Robbins only scratches the surface on the inter and intra group dynamics. She defines the many varying groups but fails to really delve into each groups perceptions of each other and themselves. She does touch upon it, but not in a way that I felt really achieved complete understanding. I did enjoy that she follows real students individually, but again, it didn’t go deep enough for me. I wanted more. With more analysis, each scenario would have been incredibly interested and the book could have easily been a bit longer. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite there.