Sorry I'm Not Sorry

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
“I don’t agree with this whole thing, princess, but you’re going to have to work with it for now.”
“But Daddy –“
He shook his head and I climbed into the backseat, but as soon as he got behind the wheel again, I started back in.
“This is so unfair. It wasn’t all my fault.”
“Other people don’t see it that way. You’re going to have to play the game for a while.”
“I don’t want to play the game.”

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 11-15
Subjects: Bullying, Family Relationships, Friendship, Truth
Summary:  Fine. Kylie will jump through whatever hoops she has to in order to get back on the cheerleading squad. If that means meeting with this dwarf person to do a social studies project, she’ll do the project and get it over with. If that means assisting at a dance camp for little kids, she’ll get through it by dragging Izzy with her. But she’s not sorry, not for a moment! Hoops can be jumped through but that doesn’t mean she has to change. Except… things are changing without her involvement. It seems all her former friends have turned on her. Photo-shopped pictures are floating around the internet citing Kylie as the true and only criminal in the whole bullying Ginger thing. And new pictures are coming, showing just how much she’s not changing. Even though she is changing. It seems the bully is now the bullied.
Notes: The third in the Mean Means Makeover Trilogy, Sorry I’m Not Sorry gives the perspective of the bully. The first book looked at the situation from the perspective of the bystander and the second book was from the perspective of the bullied. This story picks up right where the second one left off. Kylie’s attacks on Ginger have finally come to the attention of the adults and are being dealt with. Kylie is sentenced to Community Service and tutoring with Lydia, the counselor who helped the girls in the first two books. Kylie does change in this book, due to a few things. First, she becomes a victim as well and learns how it feels to be on the attack as well as how it feels to have someone stand up for you when the Tribelet comes to her aid. Second, her mom also gets some counseling from Lydia and becomes more involved in her life. Third, one of the projects Lydia has Kylie do is write up a list of requirements for being her friend, the rules that sort of govern their group and then compare it to the Bill of Rights, causing Kylie to see that she’s not standing up for the freedoms of her friends, but taking their basic rights away. And lastly, her community service project gives her a chance to see herself in a young girl and Lydia helps her to look at it from the proper perspective. This book doesn’t have a “happily ever after” ending where everything wraps up unrealistically for the character. It shows a real picture of what it might be like for someone to change from being the bully herself to supporting the anti-bullying movement. It also shows how bullies can be formed – by example, by lack of proper correction and discipline, and by hurt. The spiritual elements are not real prevalent in this one. Lydia tells Kylie she’ll be praying for her and Kylie says a nanny used to do so as well. Lydia says she thinks that’s why Kylie adapted so well to the change she encouraged – God had been in her life for a long time and the nanny was probably still praying for her. And later, Kylie thanks God for her not being in the bully business anymore. Lydia also teaches her that one of the codes is from the Bible. At one point she tells Kylie she prays for her with every session, to be able to help Kylie. Those are the only references to anything spiritual though. However, the principles taught, like in the last books, are Biblical principles. The principles taught in this one are: Take your mask off (do not hide the truth or lie), No Rivals (Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, love your neighbor as yourself, do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit), Consider the smudge (don’t take the splinter of out of your brother’s eye before first removing the plank in yours), Don’t pull the trigger/Have a creative one-liner (be alert and self controlled). There is one area I disagree with though: the idea that Kylie is not a “bad person”, she just does “bad things”. The Bible teaches in Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 3 and other places that we are bad. There are none that are good, none that are righteous. The book is trying to convey that God did not create bullies. That’s not who He designed Kylie to be. But the wording is a popular idea and I want to encourage adults to help young girls understand that they are bad – not just bullies, but all of us. But that’s not what God created us to be and He can transform us into what we were meant to be when we put our trust in Him for our salvation and let Him do His sanctifying work in our lives. 
I highly recommend this series to all young girls whether they be a bully, a victim or a bystander. It will challenge their mindset, encourage them, and give them tools for how to deal with the whole issue of bullying in general.
Also of note, this book is part of a much bigger movement to stop bullying. The links at the bottom will direct you to the resources the author has created to help go to war against bullying – because it is so NOT okay to ever bully anyone!
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Romans 12:2 – Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--His good, pleasing and perfect will.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  - the author's main website with links to a number of resources - the page for girls 3rd-8th grade who have been bullied or want to join the anti-bullying movement - the parent/adult page for those wanting to join the anti-bullying movement

And here are links to my reviews of the first two in the series:
Thank you to Nancy Rue for sending me a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. It was wonderful! 


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