Alex is starting her senior year of high school. She is still trying to cope with the mysterious accidental death of her mother many years ago and her father who is emotionally distant and hardly talks to her.
Her best friends from childhood, Zach and Bethany have been her support and lifeline as she has struggled to accept her mother’s death and that her mother was not running away from her when she died.
Things are looking up when Alex is asked to tutor the new student Cole who is so gorgeous and nice and seems to understand her in a way that no one else has.
As Alex’s relationship with Cole progresses there are signs of physical and verbal abuse which her friends, sister and co-workers recognize. Alex feels like it is her fault and she deserves to be abused and tries even harder to make her relationship work. Then one day after work Cole is waiting outside for Alex and physically abuses her to where she doesn’t know if she will live or not. Her boss sees it happening and intervenes.
Now she starts her long road to recovery with the help of her family and friends.
Even though this is a very serious subject the author has approached it in a way that allows you to feel many emotions while reading it.
Librarian's Note:I just loved this book. We live in a small rural, conservative and religious community. We may be small but I am sure that dating violence or just abuse in a marriage in seen by many students here. It is hard to find books like this that don’t have a lot of sex, language and violence in them that I think my students could relate to.
I really like how they show the emotions of Alex thinking it is her fault and all she needs to do is try harder. I have never experienced any abuse like this or even been around it but I feel that the book is probably pretty true to form and many students will be able to really relate to it and hopefully use it to help them in their own lives.
I will definitely be pushing this book next fall when school starts. After the first few students check it out it will probably not see my shelves much more that year.
Definitely needs to be a high school book. I would never put it in my middle school library.
Recommended by Joleen Walters, Librarian Idaho