An Explanation of the major themes?Theme is what you learned in the book.

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bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Theme is the author's message about life or the human condition. In general terms, what is the author saying about people through Melinda's experience, and what does this say about life in particular?

Since Melinda doesn't tell anyone what happened to her, she's alienated from everyone at school. Her alienation stems from the gossip and secrets that are passing through the students at Melinda's school. What  is the author saying about what happens as a result of not facing the truth and the repercussions of gossip?

Melinda's story is also one about the loss of innocence. Her rape stripped her of the innocence that a ninth-grade girl projects. Melinda learns too early about the realities of life. The rape doesn't allow her to ever be a fourteen-year-old girl who thinks about prom and football games.

Andy is the antagonist of the story who takes Melinda's innocence from her. He is hypocrisy in life, representing those who pretend to be one thing, but they're really the opposite. Andy is the good-looking, all-American boy that a girl should be able to trust. No one would believe that he's actually evil incarnate, suggesting that appearance cannot always be trusted.

For more themes, go to the website below.