I recommend this book for: middle school, with some reservations
I had mixed feelings about this book. It seemed at first to be a typical middle school problem novel: Kirsten's parents are fighting and her best friend has ditched her to hang out with the popular girl, who is also evil. Walk is a black kid starting at an almost all-white school.
I definitely liked the characters, and the way they interacted seemed very true to life - for example, I wanted to strangle Brianna when I found out the reason Matteo was wrapped around her little finger, and I completely bought it.
I hate it when people spoil books, but I'm not sure I can convey my concerns about the book without ruining the shocker in the middle. I'll just say this - I work in a fairly conservative community, and I can see parents being upset by Kirsten's father's big secret. It certainly caught me way off guard, and it completely blew my suspension of disbelief. It actually made me think more of a soap opera and distracted me from all of the other wonderful character interactions in the book.
Maybe it's just me?