Like a Greek tragedy this book is made up of three acts in which the main character falls apart and picks herself up again.I must say the parts were a little too clean cut to me. It really felt like three novellas rather than one novel. It was my first Joyce Carol Oates' book and I can already tell I will be a fan even if this one was just a 3 star effort really. I threw one more star in because girl bullying and interracial relationships are one of my favourite literary subjects. All in all it was a sad, beautifully written coming of age novel about a girl who is too smart for her own good.