Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday=Book Review Time--Terse and Gripping

Up for today: Exposed by Kimberly Marcus

Exposed

Why I bought it? I didn't actually buy this one. It's not out until tomorrow. Disclosure: Kimberly Marcus' agent gave it to me when we were on a panel together last week and asked me to review it.

Synopsis/Set-up:  Photogirl, Liz, captures life and people in exposed moments on film. She is a senior in high school and wants to study photography in college. (Those of you who have been following this blog for a while or know me at all will understand how that was enough to pique my interest.) In the aftermath of a fight she and her "forever-best" friend, Kate, have at their monthly sleepover, their friendship seems to be unraveling. As secrets are exposed about the source of the friction, Liz is left questioning herself and all those closest to her.

What I thought? I LOVED this book, and it's not just because of the photography references (although I enjoyed those immensely). At the beginning I liked the clever ways the author put things and the spot on teen voice. As I got deeper into the story, it was as if my heart were being gripped in a fist that kept getting tighter and tighter. I'm sure my lips were thin and pale. The story is terse and gripping. It has been distilled down to its raw essence and is so compelling in its honesty that I think people will be talking about it for a long time. I found it incredibly thought provoking and enjoyed the different perspective on its hot button topic. I don't want my review to be a spoiler, so I'll stop there. Disclosure #2: I love books in verse (if they are done well), and this is in verse. Don't let that stop you from reading it, if you think you don't like that form. This is a well told story and the verse flows extremely well--like tightly honed prose with a little something extra. I'm rereading it right now, and I rarely reread anything any more. With all the great books out there, who's got time to reread? And yet! Here I am rereading. I'll grant you it is a quick read (even if you find yourself rereading certain pages over and over) but still...

My Rating:  ***** out of 5. If you couldn't already guess, I'm breaking out all 5 stars for this one. Rare for me these days, but that's how much I liked it. In fact this is one of the 3 books (that's our limit) I will take to recommend for my book club when we make our selections in June for next year's reads.

Cleanness Score: 5 out of 10. This is mostly for the themes, but nothing is shown explicitly. There are very few incidents of language and nothing super strong. This is something I think teens would do well to read, but if you are a very conservative parent, you may want to read it first. It won't take you long. I wouldn't have any problem with my teens (16 and 14) reading it, but I wouldn't give it to my 10 year old yet.

19 comments:

Judy Croome said...

Gosh, this does sound like an interesting read. All in verse? Innovative and the author is clearly talented enough to carry it off well. And I'm very curious to read it...!

Judy (South Africa)

Judy Croome said...

PS Have I said how much I love your new soft pink header, with the Gibrain quote? Lovely!

(pink is my favourite colour)

Judy (South Africa)

Tana Adams said...

I'm going to look for this! I've already checked out a few of your suggestions!

lotusgirl said...

Judy, It's so nice to hear from you. I'm glad you like my new color. I agonized over it thinking it might be too pink, but I'm comfortable with it now. I love pink too, but I wasn't sure how well it would go over with my regular readers after having green for so long. I think you would like this book. I hope you're able to find it easily.

Tana, I hope that means you like the suggestions. This is one of those books I think speaks very loudly. I hope you like it.

R.S.J. said...

Verse? I'm intrigued.

Kimberly Franklin said...

Sounds like a great book. I'll have to look for it when it comes out!

Kristi Helvig said...

I hadn't heard of this book before, but it sounds great. Thanks for the recommendation. :)

Nahno McLein said...

Your voice as a reviewer is great. I'm intrigued to read this book, even though I'm not sure about the verse. Thanks
Nahno ∗ McLein

lotusgirl said...

RSJ, Verse, indeed. It's great.

Kimberly, you won't have to wait long. It's out tomorrow.

Kristi, It is! I hope you like it as much as I did.

Nahno, Wow. Thanks! I'm glad you like my reviewer voice. Don't reject the book because of the verse. Once you read the first few pages, I bet you'll be sold. It's not erudite and lofty. It's pure and cuts to the chase and the way the author captures the teen voice even in poetry is fantastic.

Her highness, Samantha Vérant said...

err...I think you should have another contest! (I just finished the book I won--and will include it in my contest tomorrow...)

Danyelle said...

This sounds like an awesome book! I love the concept! And there's something about reading a book in verse that's unlike anything else. :D

lotusgirl said...

Samantha, I can have another contest, but not with this book. I'm not giving it away. I may have to read it again. I definitely want it on my shelves.

Danyelle, It is. The way verse can capture sentiments and actions is a few select words is captivated to me when it is done well. I wish I could do it.

Heidi Willis said...

Well, you've enticed me! It sounds fabulous, although I'm a sucker for the photography thing too. :)

Patti said...

I love your book reviews. They really make books enticing. If I hadn't just bought six books, I'd go pick it up. It will have to wait until next month's budget.

Carol Baldwin said...

need to read this and recommend it to my friend who is trying to find a home for her book in verse!

lotusgirl said...

Heidi, I thought you would like all the photography references. I could just picture all her shots--the set up and everything.

Patti, I'm glad you like my reviews. Good luck budgeting this one in.

Carol, Oh, I would think a writer of books in verse would especially like this one.

Amie Kaufman said...

Oh, great! I looooove novels in verse, though they're so hard to do well. This sounds wonderful.

lotusgirl said...

Amie, Since you love verse, I bet you'll love this.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

This is definitely going on my list. :D