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Reviewed by Amy Powers for Readers' Favorite
The Only Way Out is a dramatic young adult novel by Katie Kuperman that tackles the social issues of high school bullying. Kaitlyn and Rebecca have been best friends and neighbors since they were very young, but they've always gone to different schools. Everything changes when they begin high school together in what should have been an amazing and exciting experience. A simple encounter and an accidental bump into another student make Rebecca a target for the class bully, and as the school year progresses, Kaitlyn suspects that there have been more incidents in which Rebecca has been bullied. As a bystander, Kaitlyn feels obligated to say or do something, but Rebecca doesn't want to cause any trouble and pleads for Kaitlyn to keep quiet. Kaitlyn is torn between doing what she thinks is right and remaining loyal to her best friend.
An emotional roller coaster from start to finish, The Only Way Out takes a relatable yet unique look at bullying, as seen through the eyes of an onlooker. Kaitlyn is faced with acknowledging that being a witness in a bullying situation is just as tough as being the one who is bullied, as her loyalty, courage, and responsibilities are challenged. Inspired by the story of Amanda Todd, Katie Kuperman does an amazing job at gracefully addressing sensitive topics that teenagers have to encounter far too often, and the dramatic turn of events that can make an "innocent" case of bullying quickly change into something much worse than most people would imagine. I recommend this eye-opener for teens who are ready to make a difference.