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Melinda SordinoThe protagonist who was raped at a summer party and left traumatized as a result
- Break the Cutie: After being raped, Melinda's life spirals towards the brink of near destruction.
- The Cassandra: When she tries to tell her former friend Rachel about Andy's sinister intentions and Rachel doesn't believe her.
- Character Development: Over the course of the book, Melinda eventually finds the strength to reveal her dark secret, accept what has happened to her, and is slowly able to recover from her trauma.
- Deadpan Snarker: Very much so.
- Nice Girl: Despite her prickly demeanor, Melinda is ultimately a compassionate person.
- The Quiet One: After the rape, she became withdrawn and barely speaks to anyone.
- Self-Harm: Her lip-biting.
- With Friends Like These...: Rachel abandoned her after she called the police to the end of summer party. Heather also takes advantage of Melinda's talents in order to get noticed by the popular clique of girls, and ultimately ditches her like a hot potato when she had reached her goal.
Andy EvansMelinda's rapist, a jock at Merryweather High.
- Above Good and Evil: Has shades of this. In his heated confrontation, Andy tries to claim that all of the other girls he had assaulted and/or harassed were practically asking for it, so therefore, he is not a rapist.
- Big Bad: The only real evil person in the setting.
- Faux Affably Evil: He uses his popularity among his fellow students to hide his sinister intentions.
- For the Evulz: He clearly enjoys the fear that he instills into Melinda, making it his goal of reminding her about what he had done.
- Handsome Lech: Notorious for sleeping around with several girls. However, the further that we get into the novel, it is revealed that he is not just that.
- It's All About Me: Claims that he could get any girl he wants to sleep with him willingly as a feeble attempt at dispelling Melinda's accusations.
- Jerk Jock: Initially appears as this stereotype, but in this case, is a far more dark example.
- Karma Houdini: Somewhat. While at most he gets a slap on the wrist for what he had done to Melinda as well as to other girls, he is still made to register as a sex offender meaning that his life was ruined at that moment.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Spouted a Slasher Smile whilst raping Melinda at the party.
- Serial Rapist: Several entries on the bathroom mirror in the girls' restroom reveal that Melinda wasn't Andy's first victim, nor would she be the last.
- The Sociopath: Is manipulative and charismatic. He values his reputation above all else, and is completely remorseless at the prospect of raping and/or harassing female students.
- Teens Are Monsters: While most of the adolescents bully Melinda, Andy is ultimately the worst that the school has to offer.
- Villainous Breakdown: Angrily confronts Melinda in the janitor's room and attempts to rape her again out of revenge for ruining his reputation.
HeatherThe new girl at school who befriends Melinda briefly.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She seems like a friendly person but is really a manipulative backstabber.
- Entitled Bitch: Despite dropping Melinda the moment things were looking up for her, Heather still felt that Melinda would help her with the prom decorations by trying to appeal to her friendship with her. Needless to say, Melinda refuses.
- False Friend: Initially began as Melinda's only friend due to being the new girl at school (and thus, having no knowledge of the police call Melinda made), but she had bigger aspirations. When the chance to become one of the more popular girls reared its head, she jumps at the chance and severs her ties with Melinda.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Ditching Melinda as soon as The Marthas invite her to join their clique comes back to bite her in the ass when she was assigned to help with decorations for the upcoming prom. Melinda refuses to help her, thus leaving Heather alone to do the decorating. Unsurprisingly, she does a terrible job with the decorations, leading to her being kicked out of the clique.
- Social Climber: Wants to be popular and cool.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Disappeared in the final chapter of the novel most likely as a result of hiding out due to the embarrassment she received for her subpar decorations.
Rachel BruinMelinda's former best friend.
- Ambiguous Situation: While Rachel considers calling Melinda up, it is uncertain as to whether or not Melinda would forgive her, let alone on whether or not they can rekindle their friendship.
- False Friend: Knew Melinda for years, only to disassociate herself with her when Melinda called the police.
- Foreign Culture Fetish: Once high school starts, she hangs out with the European exchange students, tries to speak French more, and starts going out with a boy from Portugal after breaking up with Andy.
- My God, What Have I Done?: She has this when she realizes that Melinda was telling the truth when Andy tries to harass her at the prom.
Another former friend of Melinda's who joined the artists' clique.
- Ambiguous Situation: It's not clear exactly what her relationship with Melinda was, especially since she wasn't at the party when/where Melinda called the police, as it's not spelled out if she was avoiding Melinda because she's unpopular or if they were friends and drifted apart. Given the friendly nature that she has with Melinda later on, it's possibly the former.
- Every Girl Is Cuter with Hair Decs: Wears multicolor Sharpies in her bun as a reflection of her artistic personality.
- Nice Girl: As we find out later on.
- True Companions: Later in the story, when she and Melinda begin genuinely rebuilding their friendship, especially in comparison to Melinda's relationships with Rachel and Heather.
Another former member of Melinda's old clique of friends, the Plain Janes, who became a jock.
- Ambiguous Situation: Like Ivy, it isn't really clear as to why she was avoiding Melinda and whether or not because the latter is a social outcast or if she was avoiding her due to being wrapped up in her own life.
- Big Damn Heroes: Is the one to break the closet door down with her teammates to find Andy trying to rape Melinda in the climax.
- Defeat Means Friendship: A downplayed example during her and Melinda's tennis match - although Melinda lost, it was a close game and Melinda earns Nicole's respect as a result.
- Lovable Jock: Is a tough and competitive athlete, but is otherwise a good person.
- Odd Friendship: The best way to describe her friendship with Melinda later on.
David PetrakisMelinda's classmate and lab partner who doesn't ostracize her.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's a nice guy but he's hardly a doormat. When Mr. Neck goes off on a xenophobic rant during the middle of class, David is among those who is not afraid to stand up against this.
- Hollywood Nerd: A mild example - he's a good student but does have a decent social circle and doesn't appear to be picked on by anyone.
- Implied Love Interest: Vaguely implied. It's more prominent in the book, with a few cute moments on Valentine's Day and a mention that David watches her when he thinks she doesn't notice. For rather understandable reasons, though, it never really goes anywhere.
- Nice Guy: He's the one of the few people who's actually nice to Melinda from the start despite what happened at the party.
The MarthasA group of girls (named Meg, Emily, and Siobhan) at Melinda's school that follow everything Martha Stewart related.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The way Melinda perceives them and, as we find from Heather, they are, as they appear nice, friendly, and charitable but are actually pretty mean.
- Girl Posse
- Villain with Good Publicity: They are all pretty catty and cruel but their charity work and helping out on projects gives them a good image.
Mr. FreemanMelinda's dramatic and eccentric art teacher.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Downplayed but he's quite eccentric.
- Cool Teacher:For the most part, he plays this role to Melinda, as he lets her be herself in his class, but, generally, he regards his students as people and so treats them as such.
- The Confidant: To Melinda, later on.
- Hippie Teacher: This is more apparent in the movie but the way he makes teaches his class makes him this .
- Nice Guy: Without a doubt.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Some art teachers (and students) might be put off by Melinda's art projects but he's more accepting and patient with her, encouraging her to open up and letting her trauma out.
Mr. NeckMelinda's history and social studies teacher.
- Jerkass: Less so than the other characters but he's one for his politics and how he teaches his class.
- Politically Motivated Teacher: Much of his lessons tend to involve some of his own personal politics and biases. It's clear he doesn't much care for immigration and he's quick to shoe-horn them into his lessons.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: "Villain" may be putting it on strong, but his xenophobic viewpoints are hardly savory.
HairwomanMelinda's English teacher whose hair covers her face.
- Blinding Bangs: It can be inferred that she has these, as the reason she's called "Hairwoman" is because of whatever hairdo she has covers her face.
- Cool Teacher: She tries to be this but she fails.
- The Faceless: Well, she has a face, her hair just covers it.
- No Name Given: She's only called "Hairwoman".
- What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?: In-Universe, she is obsessed with every little possible symbol that can be found in The Scarlet Letter.
Ms. KeenMelinda's Biology teacher.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: In the sense that she's one of the few teachers that gets through to Melinda, though not directly.
The principal of Melinda's school
The Guidance Counselor
The guidance counselor that tries to help Melinda with her trauma.
Mom and Dad
- Adults Are Useless: Melinda seems to think so, as they haven't gotten their daughter any help since her rape and Mom thinks that Melinda's behavior are cries for attention, not necessarily help, while Dad sort of gets the idea. However, this is invoked because she hasn't told them what happened (or the full depth of what happened).
- Awful Wedded Life: Their marriage isn't a happy one.
- Parents as People: They do care about their daughter but, due to their cluelessness, they don't really see that Melinda needs help.
- Unnamed Parent: Besides their last name, their first names aren't given.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: Mom works a lot and is often busy at her job managing a clothing store, while Dad sells insurance and gets more freedom.