Up for today: Exposed by Kimberly Marcus
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.