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Exposed Hardcover – February 22, 2011
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Liz and Kate are forever-best friends preparing for the next chapter: college. There�s no doubting Liz�s major�photography�but she is frustrated with Kate�s refusal to pursue her dream of dancing. It�s partly this disagreement that leads to a fight during their monthly sleepover, after which Kate refuses to speak to Liz. Soon the secret of that night comes out: Kate was raped by Liz�s brother. At least that�s what she says�Liz�s brother�s denial sounds just as credible. Marcus, a writer without a melodramatic bone in her body, handles the plot with utmost naturalism: once spoken, the accusation splinters alliances among Liz�s friends and family, and the courtroom conclusion is wonderfully devoid of theatrics. The novel is written in free-verse poetry (My mother has pinned / all her hopes on me. / And I can�t pull out / the pins), though it�s unclear why, other than that the book would struggle to reach novel length using standard paragraphs. The upside is that it reads in a single sitting and whets the appetite for whatever Marcus does next. Grades 7-10. --Daniel Kraus
About the Author
KIMBERLY MARCUS lives with her husband and two children near the beach in Massachusetts, not far from the ferry to Martha's Vineyard. She is a clinical social worker specializing in the treatment of childhood and adolescent trauma. Exposed is her first novel. You can visit her on the Web at KimberlyMarcus.com.
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Teen photographer Liz sees life from her camera's lens and the view is picturesque, a best friend Kate, boyfriend, likely acceptance to her dream college, a great family. Until an argument at a sleepover with her BFF. Now Kate is claiming Liz's brother Mike raped her that night and Liz doesn't know what to believe.
EXPOSED is a short, first person lyrical account of Liz's reactions. I enjoyed Kimberly Marcus's crisp writing style. Liz was caught in a no win situation and she was easy to embrace as a secondary victim to her brother's alleged actions. I understood her first instinct to doubt what happened, not because Mike was a good guy, but because I wouldn't want to believe my brother could rape my friend while I was sleeping. I had a harder time empathizing with her continued silence.
Because EXPOSED is written in verse, 274 pages barely told the story. I didn't feel like I knew any of the secondary characters, though most were sympathetic. Even Liz wasn't fully fleshed out. While the lyrical format worked to emphasize emotion, I found myself wanting more and wondering how the story would read in prose. I look forward to reading more of Marcus's novels.
THEMES: friendship, family, siblings, rape, sexual assault, drinking
EXPOSED left me wanting more.
Firstly, I have to say that there were a lot of good parts of the book that I should note which made this book a three star title and not a two or one star. The prose was very good. The author did a good job with the writing. There are definitely a few hauntingly powerful verses. The grammar was also correct for the most part, minus a few errors that don't detract from the meaning in any major way. It is also noteworthy that although the narrator is a high school student, her story and her manner of telling her story makes it so that even those who are not in high school can connect with her. Perhaps most importantly of all, author draws the reader into the story from the very beginning, which is especially impressive considering how few words she needed to fully capture my interest. I started with a sample and couldn't get enough. I purchased the book and finished it within 24 hours.
The reason it only gets three stars is that I didn't feel a strong connection to the storyline. I don't think the author really captured the reality of rape and the effect it can have. She tried, but she did not quite do it justice. Furthermore, I found the ending to be a little stale. It could have been done better.
All things considered, it is a good book, a quick read, and the story brings to light a very important subject.
Not worth the price though! (This sentiment had no bearing on why I gave it three stars).
Kate accuses Liz's brother Mike of rape. Even though she's been Liz's best friend for many years, the sight of Liz reminds her of that dreadful night, when after the argument Kate was raped by Mike while Liz was upstairs. Life becomes imbalanced: how can Liz support her brother, family, and best friend's point of views? And who is she supposed to believe? The guilt also runs deep, because she left her best friend alone for her brother to prey on.
This is a fast-paced free verse novel that hammered me with emotion. Liz and her dilemmas lingered with me after I finished the book.
Dawn Butcher, 7-12 Library Media SpecialistKindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6" Display with New E Ink Pearl TechnologyIdenticalBurned