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Monday, December 2, 2013

Module 14: Exposed

Module 14: Short Stories and Poetry 

Module 14: Exposed
Author: Kimberly Marcus

Book Summary:
Liz Grayson is a high school senior who seems to have it all, a “forever best” friend named Kate, a loving older brother in college, a boyfriend, and enough talent to go to college to be a photographer. However, when a Liz and Kate have a fight at their Saturday night sleepover, something happens that will change Liz’s relationships with everyone. Kate accuses Liz’s brother of rape, and Liz is forced to choose sides. Who does Liz believe- her brother or her “forever best?”
APA Book Reference:
Marcus, K. (2011). Exposed. New York, NY: Random House Children’s Books. 

      I liked that this novel was told in verse. I’ve always been a fan of poetry, so this book caught my attention. The subject matter of the book was best told in verse. There easily could have been more detail in a traditional novel, but since the author seemingly wanted the reader to make their own decision about whether the rape occurred, the verse allowed for those details to be left out. Every poem in the book was relatively short, so while Marcus says a lot in the poems she does not exaggerate details.
     The poetry is not only good at leaving ambivalence; it also shows the emotions that Liz goes through. I think that teens can relate to this book on the emotional level even if they cannot relate to the situation itself. 

Professional Review:

“This provocative first novel, told in free-verse poems, offers a nuanced view of the ramifications of a rape, as seen through the eyes of 16-year-old Liz, an avid photographer. Marcus captures Liz's divided allegiances between the accused-her brother, a college student with whom Liz has an ambivalent but loving relationship--and her best friend, Kate, the victim ("My brother is a track star./My brother is a partier.... My brother/ is not/a rapist"). The stages of grief are well developed, as Liz negotiates the social consequences of the alleged rape, the loss of Kate as a friend, and her guilt for leaving Kate alone after a fight at a sleepover. In one poem, "Distraction," Liz claims to accept the loss, but says, "And except for a few times/every few minutes,/I hardly think about Kate/at all." Liz's relationships with her parents and peers offer poignant moments, such as when she lies to protect her mother from the rumors she hears at school. Marcus presents a thought-provoking portrait of rape and its irreparable impact on victim and community. Ages 14-up.”

Library Uses:
This book could be used in a library program about poetry. It could be used as a tool to show that poetry does not always have to rhyme; even free verse poetry about controversial issues can be beautiful.

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