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Knee Deep

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Shawn is the guy Ronnie Bird promised her life to at the age of fourteen. He's her soul mate. He's more uptight every day, but it's not his fault. His family life is stressful, and she's adding to it. She just needs to be more understanding, and he'll start to be the boy she fell in love with. She won’t give up on someone she’s loved for so long. Luke is her best friend, and the guy she hangs with to watch girlie movies in her large blanketopias. He's the guy she can confide in before she even goes to her girlfriends, and the guy who she's playing opposite in Romeo and Juliet. Now her chest flutters every time he gets too close. This is new. Is Ronnie falling for him? Or is Juliet? The lines are getting blurry, but leaving one guy for another is not something that a girl like Ronnie does. Shawn’s outbursts are starting to give her bruises, and Luke’s heart breaks as Ronnie remains torn. While her thoughts and feelings swirl around the lines between friendship and forever, she’s about to lose them both.

278 pages, ebook

First published April 24, 2012

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About the author

Jolene Perry

41 books855 followers
Hiker. Occasional Yogi. Equestrian. Couch potato. Music lover. Mediocre guitar player. Sailor. Tailor. Home body. Traveler. Enjoys suffering from being interested in everything. Owner, editor and teaacherr at Waypoint Author Academy. (www.waypointauthors.com)

I only rate books I loved.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 171 reviews
Profile Image for Kristin (KC).
251 reviews25.1k followers
April 7, 2015

*3.5 Stars*

Took my breath away!

I was initially a bit hesitant to read a book majorly focused on abuse; a subject such as this normally leaves me with an uneasy feeling. But the way Ms. Perry flawlessly tackles this delicate subject—using a soft touch to convey a firm message, left me in awe!

The story begins at the birth of the abuse and progresses from there. Shawn was Ronnie's childhood love; her destiny, and she couldn't imagine life without him. As Shawn's behavior becomes threatening, Ronnie starts to see herself as the cause of his abusive behavior rather than a victim of it. Throughout this all, her amazing (and gorgeous) best friend Luke stands by her. But as the line of friendship between them starts to blur, her internal struggle further intensifies...

This book does an outstanding job demonstrating how easily one can fall victim to abuse. It also conveys the importance of getting out and not regarding such behavior as "normal". There are no gory details or in-depth accounts, but the message is strong and clear enough that I felt as if I were the one holding my breath at times. 

I would absolutely recommend this book to Young Adult readers of all ages, but especially teens. The story takes place in high school, and is a fairly clean read. Although the main focus settles on escaping an unhealthy situation, I really enjoyed the tender love story between life-long friends, as well. Original read!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Book Stats:
▪ Genre/Category: Young Adult
▪ Steam Caliber: Clean
▪ Romance: Friends-first connection.
▪ Characters: In high school. Abusive hero. Broken and confused heroine.
▪ Plot: A young girl's struggle with an abusive relationship. *Mildly graphic scenarios*
▪ Writing: Authentic and engaging. Fluid and graceful.
▪ POV: 1st Person: Heroine
▪ Cliffhanger: None/Standalone

Profile Image for Jolene Perry.
Author 14 books271 followers
March 30, 2012
This book is way more personal than I intended for it to be, and I'm a sucker for stories that involve best friends having a chance at more.

Luke, and his floppy hair, raggedy shorts, and juvenile T-shirts is one of my favorite, favorite book boys.

Profile Image for Jasprit.
527 reviews771 followers
July 26, 2012
I’m never keen on picking up books dealing with sensitive subject matters such as abuse, I usually have a tough time stomaching them but also the last one I read which focused on this subject didn’t work out for me. So you’re probably wondering why did I decide to pick another one up so soon? When I first came across Knee Deep I actually didn’t look at what it was about I completely fell for the cover, also my last book by Jolene Perry I’d surprisingly enjoyed so I’d really wanted to read more of her books soon.

Shawn and Ronnie have been childhood friends, Ronnie’s always felt something between her and Shawn, even when he moves away they promise to keep in touch, she knows he’s the one so when Shawn moves back, they’re immediately drawn to one another, it’s as though Shawn wasn’t even away in the first place. But then all of a sudden Shawn starts getting tense, he loses his rag quickly and his temper changes in an instant. Ronnie knows it’s because of the pressure his dad is putting on him so she tries to please him any way she can, she knows what Shawn’s wanted for a long time but she’s never been quite ready. So maybe Ronnie will have to change things quite a bit to make things alright between them.

I really feel for the individuals that find themselves in these sorts of situations. Ronnie was quite lucky as she had a strong support network, her dad was a therapist and so quite quick to pick up on the fact that something was not quite right, even though Ronnie’s mum thought the sun shone out of Shawn. Also Luke, Ronnie’s friend was awesome, he was also Shawn’s friend, but was good as he also recognised that there was something wrong with Shawn.

I also I think I preferred this book a lot more than the other book which dealt with physical abuse because, the signs of the abuse were picked up quickly early on. Ronnie tried her best to cover them all the time by wearing long sleeved tops and acting as if everything was okay, but when her friends and family soon became to realise what was happening, they tried to bring a stop to it and convince Ronnie about what the right thing was to do. Also the fact that everything came out in the open earlier on, we were able to see Ronnie dealing with the aftermath of it months afterwards. Yes it was an especially tough time, but Perry goes to show that individuals suffering from any sort of abuse shouldn’t give up, yes there’s a tough uphill struggle battle afterwards trying to get your life back on track and it’s difficult with everyone constantly gawking at you. But with the right support and direction it is possible.

I hate how abuse of any kind makes the abusee feel as if they are in the wrong. Ronnie did absolutely nothing wrong but she constantly felt paranoid, she had to over analyse everything all the time, should she wear her heels even though it made her look taller than Shawn and he hated it? She also had to pick up on Shawn’s mood changes so she wouldn’t say the wrong thing and make him even more mad. It is truly horrible to find yourself in that position. But hopefully by reading Knee Deep individuals who find themselves in similar situations will come to realise that there is always a way out.

This review and more can be found on The Readers Den
Profile Image for Haley ~ YA-Aholic.
307 reviews696 followers
June 12, 2012
“He’s it for me, Luke.” …Luke’s face falls. “He can’t be. It can’t be possible for someone like him to get someone like you”

What if the person you were supposed to love and be with forever, changed for the worst? This is exactly what happened to Ronnie. Shawn and her are supposed to be together forever. She promised herself to Shawn when she was 14, and now that she is about to graduate she can’t be more excited to start the future with Shawn. But things don’t always work out how we plan…Shawn is getting angry with Ronnie everyday over smaller and smaller things, the first time he leaves a bruise Ronnie can’t believe he would hurt her and knows he is sorry when he begs her for forgiveness. But as the bruises keep adding, and Shawn’s temper keeps getting worst. Ronnie is starting to think maybe Luke is right, maybe Shawn isn’t who he used to be…

Wow, and wow. Jolene Perry has officially become one of my favorite authors; Knee Deep is yet another work of hers that has taken my breath away! I am not a huge fan of novels that are on tough subjects such as abuse, but Knee Deep I completely connected with and loved to pieces. Most of the time when I hear about girls or woman that are in abusive relationship I just don’t get what they are thinking or how they could stand to be with that person. But while reading Knee Deep I completely understood where Ronnie was coming from, and why trying to convince herself that Shawn is abusive was hard. Jolene did an amazing job at making Knee Deep a powerful and moving novel on abuse.

My favorite part about Knee Deep was easily, the emotions. That may sound like a weird thing to like so much, but Knee Deep had so many different emotions flying around from each character and Jolene did a spectacular job at portraying each characters feelings. Never once did a reaction seem too dramatic, or under played. Everytime Ronnie felt hurt it felt real, it didn’t feel like you were just reading Ronnie’s story. While reading Knee Deep you really feel Ronnie’s pain and struggle. Even when Luke gets hurt or upset you can’t help, but feel sad for him. Every emotion in Knee Deep was so real.

Another part of Knee Deep that I found myself loving was our main character Ronnie. She went through SO much with Shawn, and although some people may see her as weak. When it comes down to it, I think she is one of the strongest characters I have ever seen. Not only was she a strong character, she was also a great friend, and daughter. Considering everything she went through and to still come out of it all so strong, makes her an amazing main character in Knee Deep.

Altogether, Knee Deep was an amazing tough subject contemporary novel. It will touch your heart at some points, and completely crush it at another. This is a novel for anyone looking for a novel of heart break, friendship, love, self-recovery, and moving on.
Profile Image for Heidi.
1,395 reviews158 followers
July 28, 2012

“Four Stars: A compelling read that focuses on a difficult topic!

Ronnie is excited to start her senior year. She has two wonderful best friends, Mindy and Luke, and best of all the boy she has been in love with she was twelve moved back last winter and they are so in love and happy. At least, that is what she tells herself. Yet, things haven't been perfect lately with Shawn. He has been moody, distant and they have been fighting more. She blames the situation on the added pressure he is experiencing at his job and at home. If she is just a bit more patient and understanding things will surely iron out, after all this is the boy with whom she is meant to be with forever. The problem is no matter how hard she tries things don't smooth out. She is constantly walking on eggshells not knowing what will aggravate Shawn. It could be something simple like wearing high heeled shoes that sets him off. One day his anger escalates into physical aggression when he grabs her wrist and bruises it. Despite this incident, Ronnie is still convinced that Shawn is the only boy for her, but why is she suddenly experiencing these fluttery new feelings for her best friend Luke?

What I Liked:
*I absolutely applaud Ms. Perry for addressing this difficult topic. So many women out there suffer horrible abuse inflicted on them by the person they love. I was so glad to read this book and I am grateful that Knee Deep will help spread awareness. Granted this book focuses on a teenager caught in the beginning stages of a relationship that unexpectedly turns abusive, but it is still a compelling novel, one I think any teenage girl should read.
*I appreciated that the violence was minimal. I think this was important because first, it shows that aggression even small acts, like grabbing an arm, are a form of abuse. Using little incidents and finally building to a more violent scene show how it can quickly start and escalate. Young girls need to be aware that even a slight infraction like a harmful grab is a form of abuse!
*I also loved the way that Ronnie's character was portrayed. She is young, innocent and naive. A girl who feel in love at twelve with the first boy who made her heart flutter. She is convinced that Shawn is her fairy tale happy ending and that they are going to be together; no matter what. She reminds me of a little girl stubbornly clinging to her first fairy princess dress, despite the fact that it doesn't fit like it should anymore and it is worn and tattered. Her relationship with Shawn is much like that ill fitting dress. The relationship has turned into an abusive and controlling situation that will only fester and grow worse over time. She spends most of the book second guessing and trying to convince herself it is somehow her fault. I know many readers may struggle with her naïveté, but Ms. Perry gets it right in her depiction. Ronnie is the perfect example of how it is so easy for a girl to slip into one of these bad relationships. So many women are stuck in these cycles of violence. Time and time again, coming back when he apologizes and declares his love and utters his false promises that it won't happen again. If you know any young lady caught in this type of situation share this book and get her help!
*I liked that Ronnie has such a strong support system. She has her father, Luke and Mindy. Unfortunately, she, like most women in her situation, fails to take advantage of her support.

And The Not So Much:
*This is one book that I fervently wished that I could get inside Shawn's head to have a better understanding of what was motivating him and why he reacted the way he did. However, I realize that knowing why Shawn behaved the way he did would ruin the realism. Meaning, no one knows for sure what drives a man to beat the woman he loves. Seeing things through Shawn's eyes would ruin the book. It is best to keep it via Ronnie's view only, that way the reader is in the dark and clueless as well.
*I was a bit discouraged that there was not a more thorough discussion on the consequences that Shawn faced at the end. I think it is important for girls out there to know what the punitive results are for abusers. Hopefully, with this knowledge they will be more inclined to act. I also felt that at the end of the book it would be beneficial to include a list of resources for girls stuck in this situation. If including this information helps only one girl, it will make a difference.
*I was a put off by Ronnie's mother. Her character is flat, and a non participant for the most part. Her father however plays a vital role in the book. I just wished the mother was better developed.
*Yes, this book presents a love triangle but I was willing to overlook it because I really liked Luke's character for one, and second it was a nice diversion from the heavy topic. Unfortunately, most abused girls don't have a Luke waiting in the wings.
*This of course is a book I would recommend for an older YA audience due to the weighty issue and the references to drinking and some sexual situations. However, that being said, this is an important book that any girl, even as young as thirteen or fourteen if they are in an abusive relationship, they should read this.
*This is a small personal issue, but for me there was too much repetition with phrases with the word melt and melting...it was a little much for my taste.

Knee Deep ended up being a moving and compelling read for me. I appreciated Ronnie's young, innocent and naive voice. Watching her struggle and blame herself for the bruises was an eye opening experience, yet so real. Too many girls are caught in these violent cycles of abuse and forgiveness because they fervently believe they are meant to be with this man they love, despite his shortcomings. No one deserves to be hit, slapped, controlled, mentally or verbally abused. No excuses, no blame. Get out! Get Help. I am glad that I read this book!
Favorite Quotations:
"I'd never admit to loving being back in school, but I love being back in school. It smells like new ink from unopened text books, and everyone's in their favorite new clothes. It all just adds up to a fresh start."
"I watch my toes peek out from under my dress, something I never tire of seeing."
"I hate never mind. It's like---oh yeah, that thing I wanted to say? You're just not important enough for me to say it."
"I'm like a leaf battered about in the wind."
"Did I just admit to what I think I did? I'm half freed/ half chained more tightly. Someone knows, but he's not someone who will understand."
"My heart is starting to swirl as much ad my head and my emotions are as lost as my thoughts."
"I'd known him too long to think of him as anything less than a forever thing."
"Shivers run through me as his fingers slide through mine. Our fingertips touch, our palms slide together and I'm helpless to do anything but watch."
"I'm starting to understand the difference between embarrassment and humiliation. Embarrassment is toilet paper stuck to shoe, or your zipper sliding down. Humiliation is feeling stupid, knowing things should have been different instead of landing us all in this surreal situation."
"Mom tries to hug me, but I don't want it. I want to fold my arms and legs, fold myself in until I'm a tidy, crisp white envelope. Perfect. Clean. Untouched."
I received this book courtesy of Tribute Books in exchange for an honest review.
Posted @ http://rainydayramblings.typepad.com/
Profile Image for Ari.
940 reviews1,314 followers
March 20, 2015

I wanted to write a simple answer to the question ”you didn’t like Ronnie?”, but I ended up with more than a comment. Keep in mind that this is not quite a review, just some thoughts that came to my mind.

I am not too familiar with this subject (thank God) so I saw all this through my own eyes instead of Ronnie’s, but as much as this girl kept arguing with herself, she always found some excuses for her boyfriend, which yes, it seems pretty realistic.. the problem was that she never made it clear to him that he was hurting her and that she was upset about it.
He was like looking at his shoes (which she though it meant that he was sorry), he said a crappy apology that I usually found pathetic and then she was all over him, kissing him and making HIM feel better, and thinking what a terrible girlfriend SHE was.

I’m telling you, the whole time my blood was boiling. I know this must be how things really happen, how girls keep going making excuses for their abusing boyfriends, waiting for things to get better; I know that young girls NEED to read this book to know what to avoid, what NOT to do.. Still I was so annoyed and I thought this girls was so damn stupid and stubborn that I even had to skip here and there in order to just get to the ending. (you see, wanting to punch a character that has already been abused is no sign of sanity! I’m in trouble here.)

Also I don’t think that she learned a damn thing from this story. She was abused, but she didn’t want to break up with him (I’m not sure if it’s worth trying to remember his name) even though things got worse, and maybe it’s just me, but I think that if it weren’t for all other people that got involved making her put a stop to this situation, she would still be with him even though she fell in love with someone better, which in reality most of the times it doesn’t happen… Some girls don’t have something/someone good to compare with and they get to think that what is happening to them is normal (that abuse is normal!), and they are scared to be alone starting over, and they keep thinking of all the good things, as few as they are, and forget all those bad moments even though they have bruises to make them remember.. Ronnie was lucky to have Luke, and she still didn’t want to make the switch to a better love-life.

So I suppose the problem was that I simply couldn’t connect with Ronnie, she didn’t make me feel that she was as in love with her boyfriend as she made me want to think, I didn’t feel that strong connection between them. Maybe it was because when the book started their relationship was already falling apart, but I just can’t believe that someone can chance just like that, at once, that he was absolutely perfect until that first incident, there must have been signs that she missed.

Anyways, I think that many people will enjoy this book, and I think that many people need to read this kind of books, need to find of that stories can end with a happy ending.

Happy reading!

* This review can also be found at ReadingAfterMidnight.com

Blog (EN) | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Bloglovin' | Blog (RO)
Profile Image for Hilda.
200 reviews144 followers
July 3, 2012
We all know it’s Shawn and Ronnie forever.

Shawn and Ronnie have been in love since they’re twelve years old. Shawn is Ronnie’s first kiss, first love, first boyfriend, and first everything. Shawn was once the sweet boy who prepared Ronnie a very special picnic because he said the coolest girl in the world needs the most perfect spot for her first kiss. Ronnie believes that twenty years after, she would still be with Shawn, in love.

This is their senior year and Shawn starts acting weird. He is easily irritated, irrationally possessive, and tense all the time. His outbursts start leaving bruises on Ronnie’s body. Ronnie keeps making excuses for Shawn’s strange behaviors. It must be temporary, because she can still see glimpses of the guy he fell in love with. Love means keeping up with your loved one in the hard time… right?

Things begin spinning out of control, and Ronnie is desperate to fix everything and has her perfect life back. Ronnie plays Juliet in a play while her best friend, Luke, plays Romeo. Shawn is the love of her life, but why does her heart flutter every time she sees Luke? Why does everything feel so easy and comfortable with Luke? When Ronnie’s and Juliet’s feeling mingle, she can’t see the difference between Juliet’s lines and her words anymore on stage.

Knee Deep is the kind of book that will suck you from the first passage. The descriptive words are beautiful and the atmosphere between the characters is so thick. I keep feeling that something bad is going to happen, and the tension makes me uneasy, nervous, and breathless at the same time.

It’s not like I can’t understand Ronnie. She’s a character I like from the beginning. She has overwhelming desire to fix anything wrong so she has always been the first who offers peace after her argument with Shawn. I think deep down, Ronnie has already known that there’s a crack in their relationship. She only refuses to see the crack, because she’s supposed to have her happy ending with Shawn.

They are in a destructive relationship, and throughout the book I just want Ronnie to admit it. Shawn might be Ronnie’s perfect guy once, but now, he’s a ticking bomb waiting to explode. For the life of Ronnie, I just want to shout out at her to please, please do what you know you have to do if you want to save your life.

Knee Deep is a wonderful book and I admire how much the characters’ feeling exposed in the story. Ronnie does make mistakes, but in the end she learns that sometimes, some things are not meant to be. This book deals with fairly hard issues and I’m very glad to tell you that the result is amazing.

There’s something incredible about being loved by someone I’ve known for so long. Like he knows me, loves me, and yeah, it’s this thing I can count on. Solid. Stable.
Profile Image for Morgan.
521 reviews262 followers
May 4, 2012

Knee Deep is a beautiful coming of age novel about love, abuse, and self-discovery. It's intense and gut-clenching, but it's also light and sweet! It's a great balance of dark of light.

Ronnie has been in love with Shawn since she was fourteen, and she is convinced that she is going to spend the rest of her life with him. He is her forever. Lately, Shawn's been stressed, tense, controlling, and forceful, but Ronnie knows the Shawn she fell in love with is still in there somewhere because she still sees glimpses of him every now and then. Keeping Shawn happy is taking a toll on Ronnie mentally and physically, but she keeps making excuses for him and covering for him. Ronnie wants to be with Shawn, so why does her heart skip a beat every time she's near Luke, her best friend. When did her movie marathons with Luke turn into tingles and butterflies? And now that she's playing Juliet to Luke's Romeo in the school play, how does she know if it's real? Or an act? What choice will Ronnie make when her heart is split in two.

Yes, there is a love triangle in this novel. I never once doubted my favorite. The controlling, abusive boyfriend or the attentive, loving best friend? I'll take option B please!! Especially since he 1) is absolutely precious 2) has a heart of gold 3) watches chick flicks 4) wears cartoon t-shirts 5) is one of the best friends a girl could ask for!

Ms. Perry did a wonderful job developing the characters in this novel. I think that character development is one of the MOST important things in novels about abuse. Authors have to get the characters just right for the story to be received right, and in my opinion, Ms. Perry nailed it!

It's difficult to explain how I feel about novels written on abuse. I used this example in one of my reviews the other day and I'm going to use it again here because it's the easiest way to explain how I feel. Ya know when your watching a scary movie and you see the girl running up the stairs and you just want to scream "STOP!"? I'm sure it's not politically correct to admit it, but that is how I feel when I read a novel about abuse. That was also the case with Knee Deep. This novel had me super invested, a little stressed out, and a little bit frustrated. Although some of those things may sound negative, they aren't. In my opinion, anytime a book makes me feel that strongly, it's a good thing. I'd much rather get really worked up then feel nothing at all.

I gave Knee Deep by Jolene B. Perry 4 STARS. I strongly recommend this novel!


Profile Image for Jay.
514 reviews368 followers
July 6, 2012
I've really hit the jackpot with Knee Deep. I have been getting quite restless with the amount of repetitive contemporaries i've been reading lately and was dying to read one that just emotionally affected me, and Knee Deep was the one. I always say how I always look for the realistic aspect of contemporaries. The story revolves around the beginning of an abusive relationship and how the female protagonist is in denial and can't admit to herself that her boyfriend, her childhood sweetheart, would do such a thing. While the protagonist might have pissed me off because of her denial and obvious attachment to her boyfriend, coming from a reader who is a feminist, I do understand why she chose to keep on giving him a second, a third, and a fourth chance, hoping he would go back to being the Shawn she loved.

The writing of the story gripped me, I was so invested in all the characters, including Shawn, and wanted to know how this situation came to be. I must say, I also liked the protagonist, Ronnie. Like I said, I would usually have hated a character like her, but the reality of the situation is that many women have gone through such abusive relationships, some couldn't end it, others wouldn't end it, while a few actually walk out. So in the end Ronnie is one of the brave ones and I give her credit for that. I also liked the development between Ronnie and her guy friend Luke. A contemporary YA wouldn't be one without a romantic line and this is where Luke steps in. I loved how he was so nice and a true friend to Ronnie. Being hot doesn't hurt of course. The scenes between the two were sweet, carefree, and just what they should be for a 17 year old girl! The contrast between Luke and Shawn's scenes were mind boggling.

Jolene Perry has wrote yet another fantastic contemporary. Knee Deep definitely went deep emotionally for me and I am sure for the thousands of girls that have witnessed an abusive relationship whether through family, friends, or word of mouth. This is what I love about YA contemporaries, they convey messages to us girls that make us stronger, independent, and to stay true to ourselves and love ourselves. I would recommend Knee Deep to all contemporary readers and also girls in general. This is a book you don't want to miss out on!

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Profile Image for Katie.
231 reviews38 followers
April 16, 2014
I really enjoyed this! All though the story is tackling some very mature subject matter (physical and psychological abuse in a relationship) for a YA book, the writing was not overly depressing or overly emotional. It wasn't a slap in the face, or a wake up call for civilization that screams "WAKE UP PEOPLE. ABUSE IS ALL AROUND YOU AND YOU NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!" like some other YA books can come across as. This just seemed more realistic than that to me. A caring, sweet teenage girl who comes from a loving home, with loving friends finds herself confused when she realizes that maybe her boyfriend isn't the person she thought he was. And maybe her best friend Luke isn't going to sit in the "friend zone" and silently witness her turmoil.

It takes Ronnie a while to accept that her boyfriend is abusing her physically. At the same time she realizes that the way he toyed with her emotions was not right either. This all played out in what I was convinced was a realistic manner. Ronnie was used to being loved. She was surrounded by good and loving people. So how could her boyfriend tell her how much he loved her if he was abusive?

Really great character development. Great Heroine, you will fall in love with her, she's adorable. Really great conflict, though you'll want to hate Shawn, he does have his redeeming qualities so you can relate to Ronnie's confusion. Great supporting characters, Luke is dreamy. My only hold out on the 5 star rating was I was hoping for a little more of a HEA than we actually got.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Savannah (Books With Bite).
1,399 reviews186 followers
July 2, 2012
I know I probably said this last time, but how is it, that this amazing author is not published! Her books are amazing and so down to earth. Her characters have pivtol points in their lives that leave the reader breathless and wanting more.

Abuse in a relationship is so hard to get of. You make excuses for the person, covering up all of their bad deeds. This is why I am glad for books like these that address the issue head on. Ms. Perry writes such a signifcant point in the story. I love the way she builds up the abuse. It's subtle at first, just yelling, then shoving, then well, you can get the picture.

I like that in this story there is help. Ronnie gathers her strength to finally realize what she is going through. I admire her strength and her determination to change the one that she loves but she can't. People have to want to help themselves in order to get help and Ronnie has a hard time taking all of that in.

The love interest in this book is sweet and enduring. With amazing descriptions in emotions, Ms. Perry allows the reader to become deeply invested in this love. I know I hoped for Ronnie to finally see and when she did it was heaven.

Knee Deep is an heartfelt tale of love and lost. Not all things are meant to be. Sometimes we have to let go of things in order to see the bigger picture. Knee Deep is a soild story with amazing characters and their trials. With a love and hope that is soildfying Knee Deep is amazing.

Profile Image for Tee loves Kyle Jacobson.
2,474 reviews171 followers
May 24, 2012
A Huge THANK YOU to Nicole at Tribute Books for allowing me to be a part of this great tour. Knee Deep grabbed my attention a few months ago when I saw the cover reveal. I said man this book is something I need to read when it comes out. The cover just screams READ ME....... READ ME.......

Knee Deep is a story of love, friendship and consequences of loving the wrong person. This story shows you the consequences behind actions made in haste. This is a must read for all teenage girls. When a girl loves hard she loves hard but with that also comes the crashing or falling hard on your face when the relationship does not work out.

Ronnie has loved Shawn all her life. She knows she is supposed to be with him. He is her soul mate and she will do and say anything to be with him. Then Shawn moves away and Ronnie gets close to Luke. Luke is her best friend and he will do anything for Ronnie. Then Shawn moves back and he and Ronnie become a couple. With this new relationship Ronnie and Luke's friendship starts to fade because she is spending all her time with Shawn.

Then Ronnie and Luke try out for the school play and Ronnie and Luke get the leading roles. Ronnie is excited because she gets to star opposite Luke and she will be able to spend time with him and build their friendship back up. But there is danger lurking in the background and someone is not happy about their friendship. Their friendship and love will be tested and when Luke finds out Ronnie's secret all hell will brake lose.

What will Ronnie do about Shawn? Will she have the courage to stand up and tell someone? Will she confide in Luke? What is a girl to do when she is torn between two guys? One guy is good and one is poison, who will she choose? When her love hits rock bottom who will be there to pick up the pieces of her broken heart? This is a MUST READ for all teenagers!

As I was reading this book I kept thinking about a song that describes Ronnie and Shawn's relationship and I think Cut by Plum is perfect for them.

Ronnie and Luke have this awesome friendship until something happens to it. So I picked Be Still by The Fray http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nUuBj...

Thank you Jolene for writing such an open and honest story that shows us some things are better of being said then keeping them secret.
Profile Image for Suzanne .
616 reviews165 followers
July 26, 2012
While not the type of book I usually read, Knee Deep really piqued my interest. I had signed up for a spotlight post with an excerpt and after reading it, I just wanted more. And I wasn't disappointed. It brought about some strong emotions and really left an imprint in my thoughts. I've never read a book about abuse situations before, usually keeping away from realism in the books I read, but I just felt compelled to read this one.

I really enjoyed Jolene's writing style. It was simplistic and made for a fast paced read. Ronnie, the protag, is a likeable girl and her characters actions and emotions were realistic to the situation. She has two best friends, Luke and Mindy. As things go downhill with Shawn, she starts to have feelings for Luke which doesn't help her situation, especially as he seems to feel the same, and they are playing Romeo and Juliet opposite each other in the school play. This only adds fuel to Shawn's fire.

So, we have somewhat of a love triangle, with only one obvious choice to be rooting for. Luke does his best to help Ronnie once he finds out, but she doesn't want him to tell anyone, so he doesn't. He does jump in just at the right moment a few times though, always seeming to know how to act to douse the situation. He is Shawn's friend too.

Once she tells Mindy, it was again realistic as to how a best friend might act. Her dad's part also was very well done. I just couldn't believe that any mother would be as unobservant and "away with the birds" as Ronnie's. She noticed absolutely nothing going on with her daughter at all.

If this is the type of book you like to read, then snap it up, you will not be disappointed. Once I started reading this, I could not put it down. I would have no hesitation in picking up other books written by this author.
Profile Image for Kaylee.
Author 23 books411 followers
February 13, 2012
I really enjoyed Knee Deep and can't wait until it comes out and so everyone else can get a chance to read it too!

Luke is one of my favorite book boys of the year. I love nothing more than the nice guy (I guess that's what floats my boat) and he is that. He's not some doormat, though. But he's a friend first to a girl who needs a friend more than anything.

I started this book while I was sick, thinking I'd read a little here and a little there to pass the time, and ended up reading the entire book in one sitting, unable to put it down. This is one of those books that breaks your heart, but you don't care and you love it anyway (and maybe because of that!)

When it comes out, get a copy, and plan a whole evening to finish once you've started. :)
Profile Image for At least I read.
272 reviews
June 29, 2012

I actually really liked it. I think it portrayed all the confusing feelings very well. Like the guilt and feeling like it was your fault and your responsibility to do better and make things easier for the abuser is very on target especially for an abusive relationship at such a young age. I loved the end.

Profile Image for Arlena.
3,232 reviews1 follower
July 29, 2012
Author: Jolene Perry
Published By: Tribute Books
Age Recommended: YA
Reviewer: Arlena Dean
Raven Rating: 5
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"Knee Deep" by Jolene Perry was a very emotional, heartfelt, wonderful, direct and easy read. This author was able to show the abuse that was touched by Ronnie only to be seen from the very start of this read. The girl Ronnie Bird was thought to have had it all..great parents, friends, doing OK in school and most of all ....the love of her life? But was this all really true? Shawn had been Ronnie's 'soul mate' since she was fourteen.

The author does a wonderful job with "dealing with the sensitive issues of abusive relationships and how women, especially teens" do make excuses for the behavior for the one they love who they think loves them. I did like the fact that the author presented such a wonderful well written novel that was even a fast paced read. You will soon see how the transformation of Ronnies' thoughts as she falls into the pattern of being the abused woman including blaming herself for Shawn's behavior. Was this from his background coming from a abusive home? "One day his anger escalates into physical aggression when he grabs her wrist and bruises it. However, Ronnie is still blaming Shawn's situation for Shawn's added pressure he is experiencing is from his job and his problems at home. But, Ronnie feels like she can't live without Shawn! But is that it? Again, you must pick up this read to see what is going on.

The characters actions and emotions were all very realistic to just what was going on at that time. There was Ronnie, Shawn, Mindy and Luke. From this will come something like a love triangle...between Ronnie, Shawn and Luke. Luke is Ronnie's best bud..the guy she can confide in before she goes to her girlfriends. All I can say or will not say any more because it is the time that I say you must pick "Knee Deep" to find out just how this will all play out. What does Romeo and Juliet have to do with all of this?..Now with Shawn's outbursts....are now ending up with bruises on Ronnie? Can you believe this? What was going on with Shawn and Ronnie? What was a little surprising for me was that Ronnie's mom seemed very unobservant to just what was going on in her daughter's life.

Be ready for a very mature content read... for "Knee Deep" will present attempted date rape... which is a violence against women. This read is one that is a story of love, strength and survival.

I would definitely recommend "Knee Deep" for any High School read. For I feel it would help the person that feels so pressured in doing things one really doesn't want to do. So, pick up this read and if you do ...you may think this will be a sad ending...SURPRISE!
Profile Image for Chu.
1,459 reviews71 followers
October 5, 2012
Because sometimes all we need is somebody to sit in silence with.

Can you possibly let go of someone you love for a very long time? Would it make you a bad person for wanting to let go when he needs you the most? Are the bruises and hurts worth it?

I like this book, and it took me a while to finish it because a lot of books came up in between, but I'm glad I did. Jolene Perry made a very beautiful novel. A very sensitive topic was threaded carefully. She did not overdo it that you might want to close the book and not read it again, instead she presented it really well, with situations that are serious, but can be really happening in the real world to some people who can barely recognize abuse all because they are in love.

But, how much are you willing to give for love? How much are you going to sacrifice for it?

Ronnie has been in love with Shawn since she was young, and after being separated for a couple of years, he was back in town, and they continued their relationship. But things weren't the same anymore. Shawn was different - he was easily angered and could hardly control his actions.

Balancing the school play Romeo and Juliet, her problematic boyfriend and a weird feeling she has for one of her closest friend - left Ronnie confused. She didn't want anyone to know what's happening to her and Shawn, not even to her father, Luke or even her best friend. She tried to understand him and hope that the boy she fell in love with back then will come back the moment his problems go away. But it did not, and bruises starts to show - both her best friend and Luke tries to tell her to talk to someone.

Abuse starts small. For Ronnie, it started with commenting on the way she dress, or ordering her which shoes to wear. It revolved into grabbing her wrist and into something unthinkable (sorry no spoilers!:)). If someone loves you, they would love you for who you are - no questions asked. They would never hurt you, emotionally and most especially physically. People should not stay in relationships because of the years they are together. They should stay because they both love each other, they respect each other, and each feels a sense of security. If you don't feel these things anymore, and if the person you're with is hurting you - the most logical (albeit, the hardest) thing to do is to let go.


For more book reviews, you can check my website Book Freak
Profile Image for Claire.
261 reviews37 followers
July 16, 2012
Shawn is a typical teenage girl with a typical crush. She has been in love with Shawn since forever, and just because he's changing doesn't mean she is going to stop loving him. Luke is her best friend, but why does she feel so different around him than she used to.

I was very wary when I started to read this book. Violence against women is a very touchy subject, and I was worried that this book would fall apart if handled wrongly. But I didn't need to worry, for Jolene Perry knows exactly what she is doing.

Ronnie Bird. I want to say I loved her character. But I didn't. I really didn't. I found her to be ridiculously pathetic. I know that was probably part of the story, if she had of been a stronger person half of the story would never have happened, but it really annoyed me to no end.
Sure, she loves Shawn. She has always loved him. She doesn't see herself with anyone else, nor does she want to. They just connect. But now Shawn is different. He is angry all the time and he is starting to take it all out on Ronnie. But of course, she isn't helping right. Why oh why did she wear she wear her gorgeous wedge heels when she knows Shawn doesn't like her wearing heels. Seriously.

We could all see Shawn's breakdown a mile away. Heck, even Ronnie knows something isn't right. Shawn is a wonderfully bad character - Ms Perry has written him superbly. The things he says would probably make any girl second guess herself, especially someone like Ronnie. After he leaves bruises on her wrist for the first time, she tries to pass it off. But you must know it's wrong if you won't tell anyone. She shoves it away like it's nothing so of course it was going to get worse.

Luke is a gorgeous character as well. It was fairly obvious of his feelings for Ronnie from the start. Despite everything, Luke continues to be friends with Shawn, just for Ronnie's sake. He is so sweet and Ronnie knows it. So just dump the violent boyfriend who obviously doesn't care and move on. Seems so easy in my head.

Despite my dislikes with the main character, I absolutely loved this story. It is so easy to sit back and say "I would be different, I wouldn't let him treat me like that, I would tell someone" but when it came to real life, would we really? This novel touches on a strong issue, bringing all these things into the open, for us to really think about. That's what this story made me do - Think.
Profile Image for Sana.
1,099 reviews962 followers
June 16, 2012
Knee Deep is all about immersing oneself more than one can take and there is only one driving force behind it: the fear of letting go. When I started reading Knee Deep, I never thought it would be such an emotional ride for Ronnie, Shawn and Luke. To see Ronnie mature emotionally was a very unlikely experience for me as it gave me insight into the reason for staying in relationships that end up bringing one down.

It's hard to break out of one's comfortable zone and Ronnie taught me how difficult it could be. Not that I didn't get the urge to shake some sense into her. Ronnie is an insecure and confused character in the book. She is so desperate to keep things with Shawn at peace that she keeps stepping on her wishes time and again.

Ever since Shawn came back after the summer, he has been tight-lipped, moody and gets easily upset. So much that Ronnie and they end up arguing every other day. But Ronnie knows that things at home are not alright with Shawn. She knows that she is just adding to the list of problems rather than helping him come out of the funk.

To make matters more perplexing, Ronnie gets the role of Juliet's understudy but end up playing her role opposite Luke. Now she has to keep her growing attraction towards Luke under wraps by convincing herself what she feels for Luke is due to Juliet, not herself. She knows she is treading on dangerous ground here but Shawn is her soul mate and all of this will blow over once the play is over.

But Shawn's behavior is making Ronnie more and more afraid of him but unable to do anything about it, she takes the next best option: she bears the physical pain because it is definitely a small episode. However, things only take a turn for worse. Especially after the play when Luke comes clean about his feelings and Shawn is waiting outside for Ronnie so that they could be alright again.

Knee Deep kept me on my toes towards the end and I can only say how much I appreciated Jolene Perry for pointing out the importance that sometimes not being in a relationship is good for a person. Not saying how it ended though. On a side note, I really liked the dressing sense of Ronnie and her wedge heels, too. Knee Deep is a roller-coaster ride of emotions and I highly recommend it to the readers of contemporary YA.
Profile Image for Sam.
143 reviews62 followers
May 15, 2012
Wow. That is about all I can say. (Favorite childhood book shout out! Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse!) Anyway, I’m serious though. This book was awesome. It was a really nice story and sweet, but it also touched some very important issues in today’s world. I loved how Jolene incorporated all of the aspects of a good love story, but also of pain and forced indecision.
Frankly, the cover creeped me out a little. The way the girl stares at you just gives me the shivers. However, I know why they call it Knee Deep! The reason is so cute! I might be having one of those I know something and you don’t moments. It’s okay, carry on.

Plot/ Writing:
You jump right into the story, there are times where you feel like you’re missing something, but then it all is explained and it’s all good again! The story line dragged at some points when you didn’t know what Ronnie was going to do and all you wanted to do was smack her across the face and scream at her until she woke up. However, that was a good thing because it meant I was paying attention to the story and not what was going on in my own little world.
Ronnie... Well all I wanted to do was slap her, or make her wake up in some way and to stop being an idiot. I mean, the whole book she was a dependent little girl. Always making sure Shawn was happy and never checking to see if she was happy, and the one time she would be happy Shawn would come along and mess it up. I got annoyed with her personality of always defending Shawn. It made her into a whiny brat and it was just plain annoying.
The two guys that I know you want to know about are Shawn and Luke. Well they couldn’t more opposite and similar at the same time. Shawn is the current boyfriend and he’s a little possessive. I hated his character. Right from the beginning all I wanted to do was pull her away from Shawn and put her into Luke’s arms. Speaking of Luke, he is everything you want a guy to be, caring protective and loving. Yet, Luke’s character didn’t get the time he deserved in this book! I want more Luke!

All in all:
I really did enjoy Knee Deep. Ronnie’s personality really annoyed me though and I didn’t know what I would do if I was in her place. If you’re looking for a quick and easy read, the Knee Deep is a great place to start! 4 out of 5 tacos!
Profile Image for Cheyenne Teska .
236 reviews65 followers
July 10, 2012
Ronnie is convinced that Shawn is the boy she's meant to spend the rest of her life with, even when he begins to prove himself unworthy of the role. She convinces herself that he's the same boy she fell in love with when they were kids, even though their lives begin to travel down two separate paths. Will Ronnie know when to walk away, or does she love him enough to put herself through anything?

When their relationship begins to move too fast for her comfort and Shawn begins to pressure her, Ronnie gets the hint that something isn't quite right. It isn't until she experiences what his home life is like that she realizes why Shawn has been acting the way he has, possessive and controlling, drastic mood swings, starting fights over the fact that Ronnie is taller than him when she wears heels. At least she has the drama club to take her mind off of it all for a while. She even becomes Juliet's understudy in Romeo and Juliet and seems to get a lot closer to her friend, Luke, than she originally intended.

The characters were very realistic and I often felt Shawn's rage, Ronnie's fear and Luke's compassion. Emotions were set high and there was nothing else I could do but to continue reading to find out how Ronnie would get herself out of this mess. Like most women of abuse, Ronnie continuously told herself that it wasn't his fault, things at home had gotten bad, and eventually she even began to put the blame on herself. Luke was there to remind her that love wasn't supposed to leave her feeling worthless, which I believe helped her in the long run.

I love this author's writing and the ease it takes to follow her stories. I was completely captivated by the lives of these characters, the help Ronnie could have gotten from most people around her and what it finally took for her to say no. While incredibly heart-wrenching, Knee Deep will end on a high note, leaving you with a grin that's hard to wipe off your face.
Profile Image for heather - NightlyReading.
683 reviews92 followers
July 2, 2012
Wow! Oh Wow! This book had a lot more elements than I had been expecting! It was written beautifully and held a great way to ease the reader into the story! The flashbacks throughout Shawn, Luke and Ronnie’s childhood made a very important impact on the reader to actually see how the three friends had mingled with one another in their younger years.

Shawn and Ronnie together actually seemed kind of perfect, like a dream come true. You can tell that Ronnie has true love for Shawn and is willing to look past a lot to just be with him. In the end, I think it was a relationship more out of convenience and comfort rather than love for each other.

Luke on the other hand, was amazing:) I loved the way Ronnie would get the butterflies in her stomach and all flushed when she was near Luke. She had finally started realizing that there just might be more to their relationship besides just friendship. Luke is a truly one of a kind great guy. He pushed aside his feelings for Ronnie in order to keep her safe and did not push her into doing something she was not ready for.

Shawn had started out like a really great guy, but ended up being such a loser. The abuse that he had given towards Ronnie would have had me running for the hills, but I enjoyed the way the author kept Ronnie wanting to fix their relationship. Ronnie was written in a way that shows just what a battered woman goes through. The feeling of guilt as to why you had angered them, also, the feeling of how sorry they are for hurting you in the first place. It took a major blow up for Ronnie to finally realize that Shawn was no longer the boy she fell in love with.

I LOVED the ending and felt that it was kind of bitter sweet. Keep a watch out for this author! I have a feeling she will be giving us more great things in the future:)

Profile Image for Ottilie.
Author 40 books101 followers
May 26, 2012
Does loving someone mean losing your inner strength? Knee Deep by Jolene B Perry is the second book I've read by this author, and I adore her writing! I read this in a day. Senior year, the last year in high school which is suppose to hold all these options for students, their last year of high school Ronnie and her friend Mindy each year set a goal of what they plan to accomplish that year in their notebooks of firsts. However as Ronnie sets out to try out for the school's play with her best guy friend Luke her senior year is far from what she could have ever imagined! Problems arise from her soulmate of a boyfriend, Shawn. Ronnie's head is spinning as she keeps trying to understand Shawn while balancing the play. Jolene Perry creates a story that teens should read, not only because she has developed this world where the readers feel as if they are in the character's heads with all the emotional chaos that unfolds. Knee Deep is a great coming of an age book for anyone, yes finding love is important, but does that mean losing yourself to be with the one they love?

Knee Deep kept me wanting to not stop hitting my kindle next page button. Ronnie is a believable character. I have read books like this before, but the main characters annoyed me. However Ronnie is a strong character despite all that she is dealing with. With the strength of her parents, brother, and two friends Mindy and Luke she learns so much about not only herself, but life. Perry shows not only the present, but also flashbacks to help the story flow which were fun. Also I wish there were more Luke's in the world ::sighs::. This book is for anyone who loves love, characters who are real, and beauitfully written stories! I would recommend it. :)
Profile Image for Cecilia Robert.
Author 17 books383 followers
June 21, 2012
What a fantastic story! So heartbreaking and real. Loving someone is easy, especially if you've known them like forever. Letting go is hard,and finally when you take a deep breath and exhale, there's that big, bright light at the end of the tunnel.

Like the previous books I've read written by Jolene Perry, this one had me turning the pages, experiencing the MCs conflicts, emotions and her life.

Ronnie and Shawn have been in love for a while now, and to Ronnie, their love is meant to last forever. Lately it seems Shawn has changed, and become more aggressive and possessive of Ronnie. On the other hand, Shawn's life isn't perfect. He works for his bad-tempered father after school. His life at home is not a peaceful one with his parents fighting like every night.

Then there is Luke, Ronnie's bestfriend who loves her, but never showed her his true feelings, that is until both take part in Romeo and Juliet. He is like a knight with some sort radar, always sensing when Ronnie needs to be rescued from very tight spots, and always from Shawn. Luke is also the kind of easy going guy who stops by your house to have a chat your parents, help with stuff. And the parents adore him. I wish I had one of like him. instead of the ones who had a habit of sneaking around in the backyard.

Being Ronnie isn't easy, and the kind of situation she finds herself in is quite a strain, and I guess emotionally confusing. It was great to see Ronnie finally stop defending Shawn after realising her love for him will never surpass his need to be possessive and his aggressiveness. I highly recommend this book, and in the process, checkout other books by Ms Perry.
Profile Image for Radiant.
1,176 reviews30 followers
September 2, 2012
Ronnie is happy with herself..she has a great father,a ok mom,her friend mindy who she shares every secret with ,her BF luke with whom she can have a movie marathon in a bundle of blankets and have chocolate popcorn and have best fun and most of all..shawn..her beautiful boyfriend Shawn.

But life isn't that perfect when she realizes shawn is changed,,he's more aggressive and gets angry for every small thing she does..and she doesn't know what her fault is in it..is it really her?

She tries...too hard ..to patch up their relationship..but the knots in thread she trying to join in a broken thread are not something she can ignore like the bruises on her wrist and arms which she can cover with a shirt.

Only solace in this all ..she finds is her theater play 'Romeo And Juliet',all she want is to forget for sometime and be in a world of love,heartbroken and sad though it is.But when she finds herself as Juliet and Luke as Romeo...sparks fly..for Luke.her Bf Luke.How?

Confused,torn between two and her decisions ..ronnie is stuck.But when her last attempt to patch up with shawn does her bad than good..she finds herself want to be away from him and closer to luke.She never realized but it was Luke who she always loved and wanted.Can they both ever be back as before..as Best friends and more..even after what she did?

Knee-Deep is a beautiful contemporary ..showing a girl's feeling trapped between her love(or what she things as her love) of years and a harmless friendship which turns into passionate love...over the time.It was beautiful,capturing and emotional!

Profile Image for Melissa.
Author 3 books112 followers
July 13, 2012
I got way more then I expected out of this book. I enjoy sweet YA romances even without a deep seeded plot line with lots of life lessons, but when you can add all of that in, it really just blossoms into something amazing.

This book really should be read by all females in high school. I believe it would empower them to not feel pressured into doing things they don't want to and to be able to notice an unhealthy relationship. It's easy to be blinded by love when your that young, but hopefully with the right knowledge one would be able to tell the difference.

The characters Jolene created were absolutely stunning and it was the little details that gave the book such flavor. Things like Ronnie's obsession with high heels and Luke's obsession with graphic tees for twelve year olds. It helped paint such a clear picture.

I will definitely be reading more of Jolene's books, but for now if your looking for something new, obscenely sweet and endearing along with a heartfelt life lesson then this book is for you!
Profile Image for Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa).
2,216 reviews172 followers
June 21, 2012
Ronnie is in love. She has loved Shawn since they were kids. She feels that she will always love him and be with him. Through thick and thin, she loves him that much.

Shawn is undergoing some changes. His life is stressful and his parents are having marital problems. He becomes moody and starts to physically abuse Ronnie.

While Ronnie is dealing with the abuse and her feelings for Shawn, her best friend, Luke, tells her that he loves her. She begins to realize that she has feelings for them both. Torn between her feelings she isn't sure which way to turn.

This book deals with some very tough issues: abuse, control,obsession, and near rape. It is very poignant and written well.

I would suggest this book to older YA readers, because of the content. There is also the 'f' bomb dropped a few times.
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