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EXPOSED by Kimberly Marcus

EXPOSED

By Kimberly Marcus

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Feb. 22nd, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-375-86693-7
Publisher: Random House

In accessibly poetic free verse, a Cape Cod teen haltingly relates how her brother’s violent act changes things. Liz’s artistic photos feature her “forever-best friend” Kate, a dancer. They share childhood history and fond nicknames; Kate is Lizzie’s emotional core. At a sleepover, they quarrel: Liz insists Kate major in dance in college, insults Kate’s boyfriend and storms upstairs. Later that night, Liz’s brother finds Kate alone downstairs and rapes her. Although Mike claims it was “just sex,” this isn’t a who’s-telling-the-truth poser—not quite. Liz eventually believes Kate, but she can’t offer much to Kate verbally, and Kate can’t bear to see her anyway. Liz is frozen, stung by family upheaval and the loss of Kate, which “eats away at me / like a dirty old gull / picking at fresh prey.” Liz never places Kate’s trauma ahead of her own, which feels as realistically distressing as the ending’s lack of reconciliation and the lives capsized by an unrepentant sibling. Well-honed. (Fiction. 14 & up)