Inferno Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Inferno

Dante joins a rebellious group of teenagers but when they plot a dangerous crime, she must find a way to extricate herself from these bad influences and, in the process, also help set the course of a friend's life back in the right direction. Dante is a tall angst-y teenage girl who likes to run and wishes she could move out of her small town where independent thinking is considered "attitude". She goes to Glen Ridge Secondary School which is a high school in the suburbs. For her sixteenth birthday, she finally gets to legally change her name from boring old Emily to Dante because he is her favorite poet. She also crops her hair short like a boy's cut. That day, she goes to school and receives a note in her locker that says, “Woof, Woof. You are not a dog. Why are you going to obedience school?”. Dante is a bit lonely because her best friend, Beth, has moved away and she doesn't really have other friends. Whens he reads this note, she thinks she might find someone else who may understand why she feels so constricted in her school.
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One day, she befriends another outcast, rebel girl named Parker. Parker doesn't go to her school (or go to school at all – she skips classes) but she does like to hang out at different schools and hand out flyers with controversial messages on them to get people thinking about how much they trust authority figures and institutions. Dante normally doesn't skip school but she decides to break the rules to hang out with Parker.

Later, her mom expresses her worries about Dante's antisocial-ness and signs her up for a teen self-esteem course which takes place in the basement of a local church. At the first “meeting”, Dante sees Parker again. During a break in the meeting, Parker tells Dante that she doesn't live with her parents but lives with her boyfriend and has her own place. She invites Dante to participate in stealing a sign that says “Juvenile Detention Center” and putting it in front of her school. On the night of the prank, Dante meets Parker's gang of rebel friends, including a boy named Leo. At the last minute, they chicken out from stealing the sign because there is too much security around the Detention Center. Dante suggests they make the sign instead. Everyone thinks it's a good idea. Dante herself puts the sign up on the school by daringly climbing the school walls. After the prank Leo kisses Dante, but Dante doesn't feel that way about Leo or about boys in general. Dante's only ever had a lesbian relationship with Beth.

Meanwhile, Dante witnesses Parker and her boyfriend, Jamie, get into a fight because Jamie lost his job and Parker has to pay for all their expenses. Later on, Dante finds out that Jamie has also been hitting her. Leo keeps making advances on Dante but Dante keeps rejecting him even though everyone, including Parker, thinks Leo is a fine catch. Dante is unable to tell anyone the reason why because she isn't sure how they will take it. At school, Dante decides to start a group to support queer students since her school is very homophobic. A few days later, Parker and her rebel friends start plotting something big – they want to burn down Dante's school because most of them have had terrible experiences there. Dante doesn't think burning down the school will do anything and that they're going too far. They think she's just scared of doing it.

On the night Parker and her friends are going to burn down the school, Dante gets a phone call from Parker. Parker tells her she doesn't want to go through with it but peer pressure from her boyfriend and other friends is making her afraid to back out. Dante visits Parker to support her decision to break free from her toxic boyfriend and friends. They decide to run away together to New York. During the drive, Parker has second thoughts. She's still worried that Jamie will be hurt. They end up turning back to try to convince the others not to go through with their plan.

When they arrive at Dante's school, they find Jamie and Leo. Parker tries to convince her boyfriend not to strike the match but he's angry at her and at Dante's interference so he goes ahead and lights the school on fire. Dante and Parker run off and make an anonymous phone call to alert the authorities. Dante invites her to stay over at her place until things cool down. They find out that Jamie was caught by the police. Meanwhile, Dante finally professes that she loves Parker and that she's queer. Parker isn't queer but respects Dante's sexual orientation, though she's firmly only interested in friendship.

The next day, Dante receives a phone call from Leo, who told her he also tried to convince Jamie not to go through with his plans. Leo also tells Dante that he was in love with Parker and he had also been trying to help her get out of her unhealthy relationship with Jamie. At this point, Dante reveals she's a queer and has a crush on Parker. Dante and Leo joke about unrequited love. The story ends with Dante finding out that Jamie is due to go to court for his crimes and that Parker is still supporting her boyfriend even though he treated her badly.
Best scene in story: My favorite scene was Leo's phone call, at the end of the story. I thought Dante and Leo had a funny and witty phone conversation about their mutual crush on Parker and how alike their situations are since Parker has rejected them both.

Opinion about the main character: I like that Dante is a very fierce and independent character on the outside but a typical, insecure girl on the inside as it made her more relatable. I also like that Dante is the kind of girl who knows what she wants - from picking out her own name to being comfortable with the fact that she's queer.

The review of this Book prepared by Sharon C. a Level 12 Black-Throated Green Warbler scholar

Chapter Analysis of Inferno

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   very sensitive (sigh) Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Wild kid(s)?    -   committing crimes Loving/sexing?    -   young lesbians in love!!!!

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Canadian (Aboot!)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   very gullible, like Gomer Pyle

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Robin Stevenson Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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