Destroying Avalon by Kate McCaffrey This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 24, 2011
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Bullying happens in every school. Some schools are effective in dealing with it; others are not. It can range from the obvious – schoolyard teasing, hitting, and accidental tripping – to the less obvious but no less traumatizing: cyber-bulling. Using phones and the Internet, the bullies taunt, threaten, and spread obscene rumors, confident that their identities won't be discovered. For some, the constant victimization is too much, and they are driven to consider suicide.

This is what happens to Avalon Maloney. Reluctantly agreeing to move to Perth, Australia, where her mother has a new job as a math teacher, Avalon hopes it won't be so bad. However, she couldn't be more wrong. From the first day, she is targeted by cyberbullies through chat rooms and online message boards, where rumors are spread about her social and private life. She soon comes to hate her new phone, which constantly beeps, announcing more obscene messages.

Her only support comes from friends, all outcasts too. They treat her with respect and kindness, supporting her through the toughest days, despite being targets themselves. Marshall, one of the group, is always so positive and full of life that Avalon is drawn to him. As the vicious attacks increase, she begins to question whether anyone is safe from bullies.

I loved this book. It's insightful and disturbing at times, but sadly it's a very accurate portrayal of a bullying victim's life and the relief of finally speaking out and ending the torment. The story is told in first person and is totally believable. Bullying is not going to go away if we ignore it. This book reminds readers that if you are being bullied, someone will always help you.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

Dragongirl said...
Mar. 29, 2016 at 6:21 pm
This book is very boring and I hated it because it was poorly written and had no conflict and they pretended that bullying was so terrible even tho it's not. Duh.
CarrieAnn13 said...
Aug. 3, 2011 at 8:09 pm
Great review!  I like the introduction and you summarize the book very well (maybe a bit too much summary, though).  You might want to put in a bit more opinion in the end.
Anon said...
May 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm

The review is written well, but I would not be one to consider it accurate. At the ripe age of fifteen myself, I decided to read this book as another English class in my school were given it to read and I had been given mixed opinions about it. I decided to dwelve in and discover the book's true nature myself.

The idea and plot of this book is simple, but is definately enough to warrant and keep my interest, which is a positive. Not to mention the believeable characters, another pro.more »)

JubilexThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm

This is one of my favourite books. It's the second book that has ever made me cry. It's relateable (not to me personally, but to many teens), which is what makes the emotion so strong. That's something about teen fiction that's hard to find in other places. The writing isn't as good as the classics, or adult novels, but the story is something that we can relate to, that we can really feel.


Good review, I think you explained things quite well. If you want to improve on you... (more »)

Timekeeper This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 30, 2011 at 3:29 pm

This was a good review, it definitely managed to get me interested in a book I've never heard of before.

Cyberbullying is a growing issue and I am glad authors are facing it head on.

I wouldn't mind learning more about the writing style and narrative, kind of what to expect from the book.

Does the book hit on the oft forgotten fact that cyberbulling only becomes a problem when it is people you know in person who are initiating it? I don't think there has been a case of Bu... (more »)

Site Feedback