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on June 18, 2011
This book really surprised me as I was expecting a quick story about young love. The writing was superb and the character building was so artfully achieved that I was almost shocked at how much I felt for the main character and her friends. I am not someone who typically cries while reading a sad story or even laughs out loud, but I found myself actually sobbing at some points and grinning from ear to ear at others. It was almost an educational experience for me as well regarding domestic abuse from a child's point of view. Other books I've read with a domestic violence theme gloss over details and give an adult female's viewpoint, so although this story was even more heartbreaking it was also very eye opening.

I won't spoil this gripping story for you but I have to ask why we are allowed to invest so much in this character only to be robbed of any closure? There was a definite 'you decide the ending' vibe from the Epilogue which frustrated me immensely, but her web site[....] reveals that a sequel is in the works.

**My advice is to read this book at home and not at the doctor's office. It is very emotional and if you are like me, you don't want to start bawling your eyes out in the waiting room.
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on July 3, 2011
Okay, so I read the other reviews and people were obviously upset by the ending of the book. So I assumed I would also be upset by the ending. Let me just say this - REBECCA DONOVAN IS A GENIOUS!

She set this book up perfectly to go into a sequel. It ends on a cliff hanger. I absolutely loved this book. I hope the books go on for eternity. It makes you hate and it makes you cheer. It makes you love and it makes you feel heartbreak. This book also makes you think about Emma's situation. This happens everyday somewhere. I cringed every time Emma had to go home just because I was afraid Carol might be around.

Please people, give this book a chance and look out for the sequal for which I will be waiting with baited breath.
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on July 8, 2011
First off, let me say that I have never felt the desire to write a review on here. That being said, I HAD to review this book! Being a survivor of child abuse, the premise interested me right away. The author does get it right. I know for someone who has never lived this, you may think Emma was stupid and she should have just told someone right away and the abuse would stop. But as a child, who has been conditioned by fear, you are literally paralyzed. My heart was wrenching through the whole story as Emma struggled to be a normal teenager. The ending was open ended and I know that left many feeling unsatisfied, but I am hopeful. Just buy the book! The story is haunting, heartbreaking and beautiful. It needs to be told. Congrats to the author, and I look forward to the next one.
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on October 19, 2013
The story is ok. Just like any other romantic novel. However -despite the reviews; and already knowing the ambivalent ending- I decided to give it a chance and read the book.
Was it the smartest decision? NO IT WASN'T. I just have to say that the ending was not even worth the hours it took me to read the whole book.... a cheesy ending would've been a thousand times better.
If you find yourself in the same position as I did, trying to decide whether to read it or not..... Seriously... DON'T.
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on June 23, 2013
SPOILER ALERT. DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU DO NOT LIKE SPOILER REVIEWS.

There is some language and situations in this book that I would recommend for mature teens only. That being said, the verbal and physical abuse is a dark subject matter. Aunt Carol is a crazy psycho who goes to great lengths to make Emma's life a living hell. She tries to poison her, cuts her hand, bangs her head against walls. Meanwhile the Uncle and kids seem totally oblivious to the abuse going on.

There are also weekly underage drinking and hook-up parties. I kept asking myself, "where are these kids parents?"

Evan meets Emma and finds her...interesting...and pursues her even though she acts as if she can't be bothered. And then she is bothered by the attention he is giving her. She decides that they can be friends, then changes her mind several times. I felt like saying to her, "Make up your mind!" (Gosh, I hope I wasn't this spastic when I was 16.)

Evan and Emma decide to just be friends, hook up with other people, Evan leaves for three months, and comes back. They both realize that they love each other. They almost consummate their love, but get interrupted.

Then when Emma is finally convinced that she cannot live with her Aunt and Uncle anymore, even thought the Uncle said things would be different, she decides to stay just one more night. She wakes up the next morning shackled, with duct tape on her mouth and her Aunt sitting on her chest with a pillow ready to suffocate her.

And that's how the book ends. I am not interested in reading book two. The characters were so hollow that I honestly don't care what happens to them next.
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on January 3, 2014
Terrible book and ridiculous ending just to make you buy the next one. I do not recommend this at all.
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on November 23, 2011
I read roughly a book a day, sometimes more, however I have yet to write a review. This book made me sit up and turn on the computer.
I absolutely loved this book. It was interesting, well written and it made me cry, laugh and smile. Not an easy task. It was thought provoking, yet it also managed to explain enough about where Emma's emotions were coming from that even in a situation, that would normally be beyond my understanding, I felt like I was apart of the story, I understood where she was coming from. I cried when Emma did and wanted to shake her when she continued to disillusion herself about her situation.
This book is one of the ones that has continued to haunt me. I read it almost 6 months ago and have probably read it 5 times or more since. Emma's story stayed with me, it was realistic and horrific in such a way that I was left contemplating her situaton. What she could have done differently, when Evan and Sarah should have stepped in, was Carol crazy or just mean?... What was best for Carol's kids?....Was George really that blind?..... I still don't know, but that, to me, is what makes this story so amazing. Life is rarely cut and dry, right or wrong, black or white. Even a piece of paper has 6 sides (the 4 edges, mathmatically they count), and this book highlighted that. Just when I was sure Emma should have acted differently, she had a reasonable explanation as to why she didn't act. She convinced herself that she could handle the situaton, just like a teenager does. I'm a teenager, and I have yet to meet any teenager who knows exactly what to do at any given moment, that is part of growing up and living, and this story really captures that.
So thank you Rebecca Donovan, I cannot wait for the sequal to come out (put us out of our misery!!!), I now judge most, if not all, of my other YA books based on what you wrote. I hope you continue writing!!!
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on March 2, 2012
From reading the other reviews on here, I was expecting a book I couldn't put down and was very disappointed. It wasn't awful, but it definitely wasn't great either. While she did a good job describing the incidents of abuse, everything else about the book was too wordy and descriptive. I found myself skimming over a lot of the "background info". The dialogue between characters was stiff and didn't seem at all like how real teenagers would talk to each other. I couldn't relate with the characters at all, and found myself thinking "this is so fake" or "this is never how teenagers would act at a party" the entire time. I don't usually write reviews on here, but I felt that I needed to warn because of all the other outstanding reviews the book received for those (like me) who base their purchases on good reviews.
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on August 19, 2013
I did not enjoy reading this book and was annoyed through most of it. So many things seemed counter intuitive about the situation and events in the book. I know it's fiction, but I needed more explanation and development into the psyche of why a star athlete who was great in school, who didn't grow up being abused from a very young age would accept her situation instead of taking some steps, or any steps, to get out. I found the character development to be just okay, and most of the content of the book to be filler to tell about a party or something instead of advancing a plot driven story. I got this book because of all the great reviews and was very disappointed.
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on January 20, 2014
I could not stand this book! The main character was pathetic. The ending pissed me off.

Most of it was not realistic at all. If a school suspects abuse they have to report it. Everyone in this book was dumb, incompetent or pathetic. I can't believe I wasted my time.
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