JAKE RILEY by Rebecca Fjelland Davis


Irreparably Damaged
Age Range: 14 & up
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This probing exploration of whether a ninth-grader can already be “irreparably damaged” is upsetting and scary. Jake has recently moved from reform school to his father’s place on Lainey’s family’s farm. He taunts and hurts Lainey, but she’s caught inside a paradox: she knows that he’s truly dangerous, but she also resents the school’s labeling of him and snaps instinctively to protect him. Meanwhile, Lainey’s parents are equally unhelpful, refusing to believe her, so Lainey is caught in confusion between silence and words. Davis’s writing style works perfectly because it seems invisible. Everything from farm details to the atmosphere of dread is fully believable. Jake’s threats, which begin as sexual, eventually progress to a plan of killing Lainey with a .22. Several horrifying ends can be imagined along the way, but the one that actually occurs is no less grim for being unpredictable. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-06-051837-5
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2003