This week's focus is books relating to abuse, a subject often hard to read but one that has some strong portrayals throughout YA.
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott: This is actually the first book by Elizabeth Scott I read, my interested piqued by the premise. It's a very quick, one sitting read that I personally blazed through but intense with emotion. It is gutting to read, particularly since the narrator is still locked in the abusive situation rather than free from it and trying to recover.
Such A Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess: Having thought she was safe from her sexually abusive father, Meredith finds out he's being released from prison early and will be home- before her 18th birthday to signal freedom. The dynamic is astoundingly well written, and Meredith's need for escape and refusal so simply forgive the man for what he did not only to her but to numerous others is captivating to read, even if gutting.
Lessons From A Dead Girl by Jo Knowles: Focusing on friend abuse, this one takes a look at situations that are real but most certainly fly under the radar. Though much of the back story is told in flashbacks, with the long term effects showing up now, this one overall is still a surprising read.
Scars by Cheryl Rainfield: This one blends not only sexual abuse but the seemingly extreme ways victims use to cope and the mechanisms the brain uses for protection- including complete blocking of the memories in Kendra's case. Trying to both remember and continue to hide from it, and struggling to cope and hide her cutting, Scars is gripping from the start with a few story arcs to keep the pace pushing strongly.
The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride: Though this one is new, having just been released this year, it still takes an interesting style in presenting the sexual abuse scenario. This time, it's child abduction and a hostage situation until she finally escapes. Making it stand out more, however, is the story being told from the best friend's POV rather than the abused girl's. Because of that, this one has a bit of a different overall feel, style and progression but the underlying theme is still there.
All four of these are powerful but well worth it and memorable books. For those of you who enjoy the books that twist your emotions and challenge your line of thinking, these are definitely books to pick up this summer. I know there are more out there but these are some of the ones I've read that have stood out to me.