Melissa Mcavoy's Reviews > Exposed

Exposed by Kimberly Marcus
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F 50x66
's review
Jan 31, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: children-s-books, fiction, young-adult
Read in January, 2011

** spoiler alert ** I have a hard time rating this one. The subject is strong, so strong it overcomes and overshadows other shortcomings. It's a verse novel. A form I think well suited to young adult fiction and learned to really like in Wicked Girls.Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch TrialsI found the poetry in Exposed darn banal. But then I found the main character, Liz, similarly tiresome. I struggled to distinguish between my dislike of Liz's personality and her penchant for nicknames, my discomfort with revisiting an uncomfortably familiar period of life I am happy to be distant from, (is she beyond annoying or is it too close to home?)or the possibility that this is a brilliantly realistic, pitch-perfect, encapsulation of a female teenage voice. Regardless I sympathized with her friend Kate's desire for space from the cloying and claustrophobic, bossy friendship offered up by Liz. I wound up putting the book down for a week, before I could force myself to re-engage. This put me on the wrong track. To me Kate's flight from Liz was completely explicable. In fact it was meant to seem incomprehensible and set the reader up to wonder, along with Liz, what had happened to spoil such a perfect, "forever-best" team. We, and Liz, eventually learn Kate was raped by Liz's brother. This ghastly situation and Liz's attempt to survive socially and emotionally while determining truth and allegiance is compelling. From being impossible to pick up this book became difficult to put down. From other positive reviews it seems this book has great value in exploring rape and the grey areas that can surround it. The lack of extreme violence and the method of exposure make this appropriate for many middle-grade readers.

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