by Kimberly Marcus
Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February, 2011
List Price: $16.99
Review: Everything couldn't be more perfect for sixteen-year-old Liz. She has a promising future ahead of her in photography, a wonderful boyfriend, and most importantly, she has Kate - her best friend forever. But, in Kimberly Marcus's debut novel, Exposed, Liz's life is turned upside down in one horrific night. Through gripping free-verse poetry, Marcus relays the nightmare Liz faces when everything she knows about friendship, love, family, and most importantly herself is suddenly ripped open and torn apart.
"Brian calls me at noon and tells me
it's a good thing I stayed home.
'They're talking about it, babe.'
I hang up the phone and cry,
because knowing they would
knowing they are
Liz and Kate, best of friends for years, have a monthly sacred slumber party. Everyone knows it's their time to be together, but this month, things don't go quite as planned. Liz pushes a little too far about Kate's decision to not be a professional dancer and her choice in boyfriends, and as a result they sleep in separate rooms. Now Kate is avoiding Liz at every turn. Liz tries everything to make it up to Kate, but nothing seems to heal the wound that has opened. Completely confused by Kate's resistance to resume their friendship, Liz tries to find a way to make it better until she finally realizes she can't. There is no way to take back what she said that night that left Kate alone allowing her to become a victim - a victim of rape. Suddenly Liz's "forever-best friend" will never be able to be her friend again. As her life spins out of control, Liz must accept Kate's decision and find some way to make sense of her beliefs before she completely loses everything.
Exposed is a gripping story. It takes a poignant look at a girl's worst nightmare. What makes Exposed different though is it's not told through the eyes of the victim, but rather through the eyes of a friend - showing just how much rape isn't merely about the victim, but rather how it's evil tentacles reach far beyond and change everyone's life involved. The free-verse poetry is perfect - hitting at the raw emotions that emerge in crisis. It cuts to the core and leaves plenty to the reader's imagination. It is heartbreaking to see Liz and Kate's enviable friendship shatter to pieces, the only evidence of their friendship found in Liz's photography which at one time used to be her life, but now is just a reminder of what she's lost. Kimberly Marcus is an author to watch, as her first novel has handled a emotionally charged topic with a natural voice that leaves readers holding on until the end. Exposed can easily be read in a few hours, but the impact it makes will last a lifetime.
Review written by Margo Nauert (6th grade teacher).
We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of Exposed for this review.
Have you read Exposed? How would you rate it?