Ow. It's painful to watch Freddy continuously make bad decisions and to feel her (and her loved ones') suffering that results. Yet that's exactly what makes this such an authentic story, because it makes readers feel real feelings about characters that feel exactly real in their flaws and mistakes. We can't fault Freddy because we've been her; if not her choices exactly, ones similar enough that we know hers are true. Thankfully, this story is a journey, so it's not all hard consequences. There is also friendship and love and joy and, most important, growth. It's a tumultuous journey, but ultimately a good one. This is storytelling at its most effective.

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