“I would gladly trade places with Casper, given the chance. I lifted my head to see Casper’s best friend standing on the other side of the grave.”
Jordan is a golden child - wealthy, popular, the self-professed ruler of the senior class. Jordan is also a bully, a bully whose group of friends mercilessly tormented seventeen-year-old Casper for being different, for being poor, for suffering silently. Random acts of abuse from his classmates were par for the course in Casper’s life, until one night, the bullying evolved into a hate crime and he, unable to endure, longing for peace, finally took his own life.
You Never Cared is the heartbreaking tale, told in Jordan’s words, of a life stolen, of love lost, and of a soul compromised. But ultimately, it is a story of forgiveness and redemption. As Sammy, Casper’s friend and lover, attempts to cope with the anguish of his boyfriend’s loss, Jordan attempts to own his part in the crime, trying to make amends but knowing his only hope is to carry on Casper’s legacy, to work to build a better future for boys and girls who, like Casper, just need a strong voice to encourage and stand up for them.
As someone that was bullied and had quite a few low points in high school this story really hit home for me. This is the first book of Michele's that I've read and it certainly won't be the last. I love the writing style, how the narrator's voice flows with a rhythm all it's own. I'm serious, read some of the passages aloud where he's thinking. Each character that I met in the story came across as genuine and unique. I cried a lot while reading this book and I cheered when Sammy raged at the boy that had tormented them. The epilogue was a nice finishing touch to wrap everything up. The only reason I rated this story as a 4 was that, because of the story's length, some of the details seemed rushed and some of the parts appeared abrupt. Not in a major way and not in a way that took anything from the story, but it would be really nice to see a much longer re-writing of this story at some point soon.