Book Review: It Wasn't Me by Dana Alison Levy

book review

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 13th, 2018
Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery
Buy Links: Book Depository
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Source: Huge thanks to PRH International for the free books


The Breakfast Club meets middle school mystery in this story of six very different seventh graders forced together in the aftermath of a vandalism incident.

When Theo’s photographs are vandalized and trashed beyond all recognition, there are five kids at the scene: The Nerd, the Princess, the Jock, the Weirdo, and the Screw-Up.
All anyone will say is “It wasn’t me.”
Theo doesn’t care who it was, he just wants to stop being the victim. The sooner the school forgets the whole humiliating thing, the better. But his favorite teacher is asking the six of them to spend vacation week together “learning to trust” and getting to the truth. She calls it a Justice Circle. He calls it his worst nightmare.
Theo knows everything he needs to know about his classmates, and he’s sure this Justice Circle is going to be an epic and totally mortifying waste of time. But after a few days of sock puppets gone wrong, artificial flesh wounds, and dangerous candy reconnaissance missions, he’s not so certain. As they share their secrets, Theo realizes that he doesn’t know anyone as well as he thought, not even himself. And the truths they share might change their lives forever.
Hilarious, awkward, surprising, and ultimately heartwarming, IT WASN’T ME is a guessing game that keeps readers wondering: what lies behind the labels we wear?


Justice Circle - 5 people, 1 victim, and a revelation of the truth.

The time when I read the synopsis I was intrigued by the stories. Another mysteries needed to solve that involve with 5 middle school kids that were on the scene of the destruction - I mean, the photographs that have been vandalized - happened and they have been called by the teacher who decided to create a Justice Circle to find the truth of what actually happened to the photographs and the boy - Theo, who his photograph has been vandalized is also joined the group. 

The story starts off slow and I have been quite struggling to get connected with the stories also the characters and try to understand what has happened and why, however, after I get to follow the pace of the stories I get curious with the people in the group, "are they really did something to Theo's photo? Are they really guilty? It seems that they are all innocence, maybe they cover for someone else wrongdoings?". All those thoughts keep on bugging me and the way, Ms. Lewiston approach these kids is incredible that they slowly open up about themselves and surprisingly, they all get along with each other which that is seriously an amazing thing to see. These kids thought they know each other as they have been a schoolmate for 7 years, however, they discover they do not really know each other. Thus, Justice Circle is definitely a great idea and concept to approach these kids to speak up and be brave to speak the truth and to get to each other a little bit better.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting unseen battles."
The premise of this story is very promising to seek the truth and way to approach these kids to speak the truth. I love the premise and concept of this story and the message that want to reach to the readers. When the truth finally prevails, all the tension, burden and mysteries finally lift up, they get to laugh, share jokes to each other and would want to be each other friends not only in the Justice Circle but outside of the group as well. Despite that, I would want to know what happened to those three kids (not from the Justice Circle) who vandalized the photographs, at least maybe, admit to it and apologize to Theo.

It was really a good time reading this book. The mystery, suspense and I did felt stress when nobody said the truth but in the end, it was all good.