AnnaPolis Summers

I Survived Bullying!

Fiction - Chick Lit
488 Pages
Reviewed on 02/11/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

What do you name a daughter whose family name is Polis? Well, Anna, of course. Then she becomes AnnaPolis. It might be cute, but children bear the burden of the name they’re given at birth. And, when the name comes attached to a position of wealth and importance, there’s a lot to live up to. Anna’s parents are wealthy. She attends a prestigious private school and she has a good circle of friends. At least, she believes they’re good friends. But, upon entering middle school, and then high school, the pressure builds and tensions mount. The ‘good friends’ of childhood become the mean girls of middle and high school. And then there are the bullies. The ones, boys and girls, who take advantage of you.

Growing up is never easy. What happens in one’s youth affects the adult one becomes. Anna can bear witness to that fact. Not only is she scarred from her growing-up years, she is shocked to discover that the bullies and mean girls in her school have parents who continue to be just as bullying and mean as their offspring. But what Anna has to endure, though, haunts her into adulthood, yet it’s nothing to the disease that consumes her body and almost takes her life. There are chilling diseases in society: bullies and meanness. There are chilling diseases of the body. Anna suffers them all and they haunt her until, through her talent with the written word, she meets her ghosts head on and fights, taking back her life and making it her own.

Linda Heavner Gerald’s novel, AnnaPolis Summers, is a powerful, coming-of-age novel that addresses the issues young people struggle with over and over again. Using a journal type unveiling of the plot, the author becomes Anna and reveals her story as she sits back on a summer evening and relives her past through her own writing. Through this journey, Anna discovers the why’s that formed her and almost destroyed her and unravels another Anna, a survivor, a strong woman with a creative force that helps her overcome her struggles and fears. The reader is instantly attracted to this young woman as she tells her story, as her life is unveiled in heart-wrenching reality. A raw story to the core.

Romuald Dzemo

AnnaPolis Summers: I Survived Bullying! by Linda Heavner Gerald is a story that brilliantly documents one young woman’s history with bullying. Taking the reader through the intense, emotionally charged moments of life, from middle school through university, she unveils the ugly visage of bullying, letting readers feel the pain that is felt by millions of children across the world. Born into a wealthy family, Anna's childhood was idyllic, with a lot of fun memories, especially sailing the family yacht, Honey, to Annapolis. But the worst period of her life was during her studies at Duke University, where she encountered a foe who almost destroyed her life. What is it that kept her going and how did she find the strength and the courage to fight back?

Linda Heavner Gerald writes with unusual candor and honesty, allowing readers to gaze into the depths of Anna's soul to feel her pain, her anxiety, and the frustrations of being treated badly for no good reason. The narrative voice is strong and compassionate and it echoes directly to the heart of the reader. Here is a story that underscores the powerful message that anyone can be bullied, but it also communicates courage to the unfortunate ones out there who suffer derision and contempt from their peers. AnnaPolis Summers: I Survived Bullying! is beautifully written and the author has the gift of injecting humanity into her characters, allowing readers to connect with them and to feel the world from their perspective. It is a touching story, one that you won’t want to put down once you open the first page.

Rabia Tanveer

AnnaPolis Summers: I Survived Bullying! by Linda Heavner Gerald is a novel about bullying and how it affects the lives of the victims. On the surface, Anna is a healthy young teenager who has it all. Coming from an affluent family where the father provides his children with everything, the mother loves them with all she has, and a maid who is more than just a help, Anna seems to have it all. But despite all the good in her life, Anna is not happy and has not been for a very long time.

Anna is a victim of bullying and there is nothing that she can do to stop it. No one understands, not her parents or even her siblings. Only a few of her friends stand by her and understand her, but that is not enough to stop this monster from invading her life and mind. Anna is the only one who can save herself from this life of depression. This is the story of AnnaPolis, a young girl who was bullied, but rose up against the odds and survived.

I am just in love with the way Linda Heavner Gerald wrote this novel. It was written simply yet without diminishing the power of the topic and the theme. The excellent flow and language brought even more emphasis to bullying and how it can destroy the lives of its victims. Anna was a strong character, one that was not interested in becoming the victim, and she stood up to fight for herself. Her determination was commendable and I enjoyed her inner ramblings! They gave such bright and colorful insight into her life and her character. I enjoyed this novel very much.