This book is so hard to categorize, insofar as it deals with lots of issues. It starts off as a teen fantasy, when a 14yr old girl is relatively graphically seduced by her teacher in the classroom; it then turns into a slightly contrived beautiful-but-messed-up-and-all-the-more-attractive-for-it novel where the same girl, now a poor student/waitress living in a bedist, literally has sex with anyone who looks her way - including boyfriends of friends and her own best friend.
She's almost your typical beautiful waif, very slightly built, with the mettle of someone who's had your had-knocks education, and is just aching to be rescued by a big handsome stranger.
It's actually a testament to the skill of the author that you don't abjectly despise her, and as her life, and behaviour, spiral even further, you get a sense that this might not be your typical novel.
When our heroine bumps into her former teacher, the book sharply veers away from its predicted "Hollywood" path.
What follows is a shocking, insightful and painful look at what a truly dysfunctional, mutually abusive relationship can be when both people involved fundamentally loathe themselves.
With the loss of a major character, it could have become twee, but that person's disintergration is so beautifully written, it'll make you catch your breath for a second.
If you want hardcore sex, this isn't the book for you, because you'll have to go through many pages of beautifully written novel to get to the "good bits" (having said that, Ms Maguire really doesn't hold back when it comes to it); but if you want something that'll initially give you a slight tingle, then veer off into something that takes the breath from you and makes you cry, you'll enjoy this book very much.