Promise Me Something

Related Resources Promise Me Something Discussion Guide


Promise Me Something




Sara Kocek

Published 2013

Published 2015

Age Levels: 13-18, Grades: 8-12
Pages: 320
5.50" x 8.25"

Plot Summary

As if starting high school weren't bad enough, Reyna Fey has to do so at a new school without her best friends. Reyna's plan is to keep her head down, help her father recover from the car accident that almost took his life, and maybe even make some friends. And then Olive Barton notices her. Olive is not exactly the kind of new friend Reyna has in mind. The boys make fun of her, the girls want to fight her, and Olive seems to welcome the challenge. There's something about Olive that Reyna can't help but like. But when Reyna learns Olive's secret, she must decide whether it's better to be good friends with an outcast or fake friends with the popular kids. . . .before she loses Olive forever.



"Kocek's hard-hitting first novel offers smart dialogue, sharp descriptions, and a plot that unfolds in unexpected ways, as she explores the destructive power of casual, everyday homophobia. . ." Publishers Weekly

"High school as crucible of character is a mainstay of teen fiction, but seldom have its dilemmas and dramas been so precisely re-created in all their brutal, claustrophobic intensity as in this debut: part morality play, part suspense tale. . . .Compelling, honest storytelling."
STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews

"Promise Me Something tackles weighty issues of harassment, family dysfunction, suicide, and homophobia within the context of adolescent identity and friendship, while maintaining the focus of the story on characters whose complexity feels real and whose lives may be our own, our next door neighbor's, or our best friend's."

"The heavy themes are explored as gently as possible without glossing over uncomfortable situations. All of these elements, including a plot twist, make this book a better-than-average problem novel."
School Library Journal

"...the topics of bullying and LGBT teens are well chosen and provide realistic insights into discrimination of gay teens."
Booklist (Online Review)

Associated Keywords
mystery; friendship; betrayal; bullying; LGBT; gay; lesbian; suicide; outcast; fitting in; high school; depression; mothers and daughters; widow; fathers and daughters; alcoholism; alcoholic; abuse; teachers; death; dying; accident; common core; young adult; novel; teen; YA; bully; bullies; betray; cliques; parties; bad girls; mean girls; prank; harrassment; harassment; harrasment; Sara Kocek