Elizabeth Carter has a pretty good life, and her junior year looks to be great. She has a good chance to make the varsity tennis team, has a life-long best friend, Meg, who is fun and supportive, and she has the classes she needs to prepare for her future in engineering. Her parents clearly love, trust, and support her. The only thing she doesn’t have is a boyfriend, but there is a guy she has on her radar. Brad Evans is a senior and star on the varsity football, basketball, and baseball teams. He happens to be drop-dead gorgeous. When Lizzie, Meg, and their friend Jenny go to the local hang-out, Lizzie decides to get a closer look at Brad and, miracle of miracles, he not only talks to her, but says he’s been keeping an eye on her and wants to get to know her better. Without so much as a good-bye to her friends, she leaves with him. Before she has time to think, she and Brad are an item, and he wants her to spend ALL her time with him. Time for tennis, homework, clubs, friends, family is demanded by Brad. Suddenly, Lizzie’s life is no longer her own, and things that were important to her fall away.
This is a cautionary tale teenage girls (and boys) should read. The very realistic picture drawn of an abusive, controlling relationship is something an unfortunately good number of young people will recognize only too well. The writing, however, is not very authentic “teen-speak,” and some readers might find it off-putting. There are point-of-view issues that may confuse the reader; however the story is compelling and should be enough to keep the pages turning.
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