Author: Barry Lyga
Release Date: September 24th, 2007
Published By: Houghton Mifflin
Goodreads Rating: 4.05 stars
Amazon Rating: 4.18 stars
Synopsis: A riveting and disturbing novel about a seventh-grade boy who has a very adult relationship with his female teacher. Josh Mendel has a secret. Unfortunately, everyone knows what it is. Five years ago, Josh's life changed. Drastically. And everyone in his school, his town-seems like the world-thinks they understand. But they don't-they can't. And now, about to graduate from high school, Josh is still trying to sort through the pieces. First there's Rachel, the girl he thought he'd lost years ago. She's back, and she's determined to be part of his life, whether he wants her there or not. Then there are college decisions to make, and the toughest baseball game of his life coming up, and a coach who won't stop pushing Josh all the way to the brink. And then there's Eve. Her return brings with it all the memories of Josh's past. It's time for Josh to face the truth about what happened. If only he know what the truth was...
Review: This book was powerful. I can't say it was an enjoyable read, especially given the events that occurred within it, but it definitely affected me. I found this to be well-written with very well-developed characters, but I had trouble reading through quite a few of the parts simply because they disturbed me too much.
I'm all for not censuring literature and I wouldn't call this book inappropriate - it's just definitely meant only for people who are perfectly fine with reading extremely intense sex scenes. These scenes were very graphic, and were also repulsive (as the author intended) because they were between a twelve-year-old boy and his teacher. I do kind of wish the author had toned it down a bit so I could fully appreciate the book, but of course I respect the truth and honesty with which the author portrayed it.
Other than that, this was a gripping book. I felt like things were a little too fairy-tale-ending-where-everything-wraps-up-neatly at the end, but it was a gritty read about what can be a taboo subject. It explores something as complex as molestation and the conflicting and confusing emotions that come with it quite well, and I would like to read other books by this author for sure.