Jennifer Wardrip's Reviews > Dear Jo: The Story of Losing Leah ... and Searching for Hope.

Dear Jo by Christina Kilbourne
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Reviewed by Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen for TeensReadToo.com

Two friends are swept into a world that they never knew could hurt them in many ways and make them regret their actions.

Maxine has always been the good girl with the overprotective parents and the annoying siblings. She doesn't know why her parents are so restrictive on things such as the Internet. Then there is Leah, the only child who is beautiful and who usually gets whatever she wants. So when she gets the Internet she decides to share it with Maxine.

The Internet seems pretty safe to them, like the parts where they are able to talk in forums and log onto the hangouts where everyone at school goes to. But when they meet a guy who sweeps them off their feet, they decide that in order for them to keep talking to him they must lie about their age and anything else that would jeopardize the relationship.

Each girl begins to talk to different guys, writing to them every day; Maxine by relaying the messages to Leah through the phone and at school, and Leah, who does it secretly. The relationships begin to deepen as the guys begin to charm the girls. For Maxine, her mistakes are caught in time -- but for Leah, it was too late.

DEAR JO begins six months after Leah goes missing and Maxine, who is not only vulnerable but didn't even know that her best friend's "relationship" with her guy was getting so serious, is trying not to lose hope that one day her friend will return.

Written in diary/journal entries, DEAR JO is compelling and intriguing and focuses on an issue that most of us do not think of as serious. Christina Kilbourne writes a novel that will leave anyone who discovers it speechless.
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