The main characters I want to write about are Melinda Sordino, Rachel Bruin, Heather, David Petrakis, Ivy, Mr. Freeman and Andy Evans.
Melinda Sordino is a freshman in high school. We hear this story of freashman year of high school from her perspective. At a party ofver the summer Melinda was raped by Andy Evans, a popular senior boy. She called the police and several arrests were made at the party, but she never told her friends or family what had happened to her. At school everybody recognizes her as the one that called the cops, and she scorned. Her middle school group of friend, the Plain Janes, abandon her, and she can't find a new group to fit into. She befriends Heather, a girl thatis new to the school, but she never tells Heather her secret. She walks around school going to her classes (and skipping them) and getting generally bad grades. She doesn't speak alot, only when she absolutely has to. The first person Melinda tells about her rape is Rachel Bruin, her ex-best friend. Melinda tells Rachel becasue Rachel is going out with Andy, and Melinda doesn't want her to get hurt as well. Melinda's conflicts are finally resolved when Andy confronts Melinda in her closet (an abandoned closet that Melinda had been using as her hiding place throughout the school year. Melinda screams and fights back when he attacks her, and the lacrosse team comes and helps to protect her from Andy. Rachel calls her house wanting to talk to her, and Melinda tells her secret to Mr. Freeman, after drawing the 'perfect' tree to complete her long-term art project.
Rachel Bruin, also known as Rachelle, is Melinda's ex-best friend. She and Melinda were the best of friends in middle, but after the party Rachel refuses to be friends with Melinda. During theschool year Rachel starts dating Andy Evans and Melinda tells her what happened at the party to try to keep Rachel from being hurt like she was. Rachel gets mad at Melinda because she thinks that Melinda's jealous that she's going out with Andy. Rachel realizes that Melinda wasn't lying when Andy feels her up at the prom. She pushes him away and goes to hang out with other friends. At the end of the book Rachel calls Melinda to talk to her. Rachel over-reacted about the party. She didn't try to understand why Melinda called the cops. Rachel would have been better off if she had listened when Melinda warned her about Andy. Rachel is a mean person for most of this book. She feels that she is better than everyone else and cuts Melinda off when Melinda needs her the most.
Heather is Melinda's first friend in freshman year. She was new to school and had no friends. Her goal was to become part of a group of girls called the Marthas. They are into fundraising. They decorated for dances and made advertising posters. Melinda and Heather are friends until Heather becomes a Martha. She tells Melinda that she's weird and that they are too different to be friends. She shouldn't have used Melinda in the beginning of the year. She was friends with Melinda while it was convenient to her.
David Petrakis is Melinda's lab partner. He is also in her history class. David and Melinda become friends ofver the course of the year. David is really smart, and he speaks up for what he thinks is right. In one history class he calls Mr. Neck on being racist, intolerant and xenophobic, stares at the flag, then walks out. Melinda admires how he is able to speak out. David helps Melinda to realize that she has to speak up to be heard. After she presents an oral presentation by handing out copies of her paper and standing front of the class for five minutes David tells her that she's going about it wrong: "You can't speak up for your right to be silent"(pg. 159). David's character is about standing up for himself and others.
Ivy is a former member of the Plain Janes. She has art class with Melinda, and during the year they reconnect. Ivy agrees that Andy is scum, though Melinda doesn't tell her that he raped her. Melinda writes a 'guys to avoid' list on the wall of a bathroom stall and starts it off with 'Andy Evans'. Ivy takes Melinda back to that bathroom later to show her all the comments that other girls have added to it. All of them are in agreement.
Mr. Freeman is the art teacher. He assigns the students in the class a project for the entire year. They have to picked a slip of paper from a kicked in globe. On it is a word, and that is their project. They have to make art using whatever the word the get is. Melinda gets the word tree. She spends all year making trees using different mediums. Mr. Freeman's art class is the onlu class she is passing. At the end of the year she finishes her project and tells Mr. Freeman about the events of the party.
Andy Evans, also known as Andy Beast or IT, is the senior boy that raped Melinda at the party. The messages left on the wall of the bathroom stall by some of the girls indicate that he has tried the same thing with other girls as well. He was all over Rachel during one of the slow songs, but she pushed him away and walked off. When Andy confronts Melinda in her closet he calls her a liar, and gets mad at her for spreading rumors about him. He says that it wasn't rape because she wanted it. He either genuinely believes that or he's doesn't thinks what he did was wrong or he doesn't care. Melinda is finally able to fight him back and scream for help when he attacked her in her closet.