Disappointment has been on speed dial in Ellen Grayson’s life lately. Her dad died, her mom numbs the grief with drugs and alcohol, and her so-called friends have slowly abandoned her.
Trusting a popular teacher with her troubles should have been safe and should NOT have led to an unwelcome seduction attempt that made her desperate to escape the final moments of Junior year. Lesson learned. Best to keep all the sordid details to herself and trust no one.
Enter Rex Jacobi, a cocky boy, recently transplanted from New York City and fellow summer camp employee. Though his quick wit and confidence draws her in, she can’t let him get too close. And summer is just long enough and hot enough to keep a boy like that at arm’s length.
But by the time Rex’s charm wears down her resistance, it’s too late. He’s put Ellen on the “just friends” shelf and has shifted his romantic attentions to the impossibly annoying and perky anti-Ellen. Even worse, the teacher who tried to get her to sleep with him is still at it, preying on other girls while Ellen struggles to come to terms with what happened.
With her ability to trust as shaky as a chastity vow on prom night, Ellen must decide if she has enough remaining courage to speak up about the well-liked teacher and risk retribution, tell Rex how she really feels about him and risk heartbreak, or hold all her secrets inside. After all, it’s the only safe place she knows when the only thing louder than words is the fear of being rejected.
Ellen isn’t your normal 15 year old girl, her Mom abandoned her for drugs after her father died. Leaving her to be raised by her brother who is only twenty, putting his college education on hold, causing Ellen to feel responsible for what her brother has stepped up to do for her.
She meets a new boy, Rex who lives pretty close to her, and even donates his time during the summer before senior year where Ellen donates her time. Together they work with children, providing childcare for those who cannot afford it. Even though she may have a crush on him, he’s got eyes for every girl out there. Some might say he’s a player.
Ellen’s confused on what boys/men want since her first encounter with the opposite sex was traumatic and upsetting. It’s something she thinks about way too often, and it changes how she thinks about everyday things.
Things only get worse when she starts her senior year. Things are bouncing back and forth between promising and less promising with Rex as the school year continues. It isn’t until she decides to open her mouth about a certain situation that she has kept hidden for almost a year, that she becomes the least popular student in school.
This book is so well written. I love the way she explains things and the ingenuity to her words. It was a book I carried with me everywhere because I just couldn’t put it down. Although there isn’t much drama with Ellen, I was dying to know where the story was headed at all times. I really enjoyed Ellen’s character and how strong she is during all that she has to go through at such an early age. I highly recommend to all high school aged readers. I give this book a 5/5.
ABOUT IRIS ST. CLAIR:
Iris St. Clair is the pen name for a long-suffering cubicle worker by day, a Walter Mitty-like dreamer by night. (Her alter ego Tatiana Ivanadance also choreographs gravity-defying routines in those fantasies, but that’s another bio.)
No matter what genre she writes, she prefers witty, insecure heroines and kind, persistent heroes able to break through to the gooey heart inside.
In high school she was voted most likely to win at Monopoly and Clue, but least likely to throw a ball anywhere near a target. Thank goodness writing requires less hand-eye coordination, punctuation errors notwithstanding.
Iris believes in the two-year “fish or cut bait” dating rule and has a 20+ year marriage and two teenaged sons as proof of concept. She lives, writes, dreams and dances in the rainy Portland, OR area.
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