Monday, July 9, 2012

Knee Deep – Jolene B. Perry

Publisher:  Tribute Books
Pages:  176
Source:  review copy from author
Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction

Warning:  Due to the topic matter involving an abusive situation, this is not for anyone under age 14 unless read with parents or parental permission.

From Goodreads:
Shawn is the guy Ronnie Bird promised her life to at the age of fourteen.  He’s her soul mate.  He’s more uptight every day, but it’s not his fault.  His family life is stressful, and she’s adding to it.  She just needs to be more understanding, and he’ll start to be the boy she fell in love with.  She won’t give up on someone she’s loved for so long.

Luke is her best friend, and the guy she hangs with to watch girlie movies in hr large blanketopias.  He’s the guy she can confide in before she even goes to her girlfriends, and the guy who she’s play opposite in Romeo and Juliet.  Now her chest flutters every time he gets too close.  This is new.  Is Ronnie falling for him?  Or is Juliet? The lines are getting blurry, but leaving one guy for another is not something that a girl like Ronnie does.

Shawn’s outbursts are starting to give her bruises, and Luke’s heart breaks as Ronnie remains torn. While her thoughts and feelings swirl around the lines between friendship and forever, she’s about to lose them both.

My Thoughts:
This is a book every teenage girl and boy should read.  I’ve known 8th grade girls in relationships that turned ugly like this.  We as teachers suspected it was an abusive relationship but between guidance and parent conferences we were powerless.  We were told that we were reading more into the situations.  Then she ended up with a broken wrist.  She still thought it was her fault.

Ronnie, as a teen thinks she has found Mr. Right at the age of fourteen.  Teens are so fickle there is no way they could know at that age who they are made for.  Because of this belief system, when the relationship turns abusive she takes credit for it.  I’ve seen this behavior before.  It is hard to understand, but they are convinced the abuse is their fault. 

The author has done a wonderful job with all of the characters.  They are very believable.  The way they respond to each other is spot on.  I would have liked to see the mother more involved with the situation.  I felt she was pretty much oblivious.  

I loved the way the book ended, because it gives teens hope.  This is not a feel good book, nor is it an easy subject.  I applaud this author and rank her up there with authors like Laurie Halse Anderson and Jay Asher who willingly take on the much needed to be discussed, tough topics.  I will definitely look for more work by this author.  I will also recommend it highly to my students and parents.

Jolene Perry's Bio:
Jolene grew up in Wasilla, Alaska.  She graduated from Southern Utah University with a degree in political science and French, which she used to teach math to middle schoolers.

After living in Washington, Utah and Las Vegas she now resides in Alaska with her husband, and two children.  Aside from writing, Jolene sews, plays the guitar, sings when forced, and spends as much time outside as possible.

She is also the author of Night Sky and The Next Door Boys.


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