Author: Therese Fowler
Genre/Audience: Contemporary fiction, adult
Source: For review
This book is breathtaking, heart-pounding, and gripping – impossible to put down. It is raw, shocking, scandalous, and unforgettable. I became immediately entranced by this story, and delved into the character’s lives as if they were my own.
Anthony, 18, and Amelia, 17, two high school seniors, are deeply in love. They have big plans for the future that all include each other. However, their world comes crashing down when Harlan Wilkes, Amelia’s overprotective and wealthy father, discovers nude “sexting” photos of Anthony on Amelia’s computer, and immediately contacts the authorities. Within days, Anthony has been arrested and accused of being a sexual predator. He has become a pariah to everyone around him, except for Amelia, who remains faithful and loving. Then, things take a turn for the worse when photos of Amelia are discovered as well, and she too is arrested. Life has become a disaster for both teens and their families, and nothing will be the same ever again. Desperate to be together, and afraid to spend life in prison, Amelia and Anthony take drastic measures to escape what their lives have become.
At the core of this story is the true and intimate love between Amelia and Anthony. Their love is real, palpable, and heartbreaking when they are forbidden, by both law and Amelia’s parents, to see, or even contact, each other. Despite how out of control their lives have become, they are desperate for each other and never once relinquished their love. Even though this book is about the scandal that envelopes their lives, the love makes this story real and enchanting. So touching and true is their love that I, as a mere reader and spectator, became all the more invested in their story.
The story fascinated me and the writing was exceptional, almost poetic and lyrical, despite the dark and troubling aspects. Fowler managed to make beautiful a story that seems nothing but controversial and desolate. An interesting aspect of the book is that the perspective shifts between the characters, giving us glimpses and insights into the thoughts of all the main players, including Amelia, Anthony, Harlan Wilkes, and Kim Winter, Anthony’s mother, who also becomes deeply entwined in the trouble, despite her lack of involvement or prior knowledge of the photos.
This story is shocking and unforgettable. Truly. This is by far one of my favorite books of 2011 and one of only two 5 star ratings for the year thus far. I will be reading Fowler’s two previous books, Souvenir and Reunion just as soon as I can get my hot little hands on some copies. I promise you will love this book! It is explosive!
My Rating: 5/5