Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Review: Live Through This by Mindi Scott

SUMMARY: From the outside, Coley Sterling’s life seems pretty normal . . . whatever that means. It’s not perfect—her best friend is seriously mad at her and her dance team captains keep giving her a hard time—but Coley’s adorable, sweet crush Reece helps distract her. Plus, she has a great family to fall back on—with a mom and stepdad who would stop at nothing to keep her siblings and her happy.

But Coley has a lot of secrets. She won’t admit—not even to herself—that her almost-perfect life is her own carefully-crafted façade. That for years she’s been burying the shame and guilt over a relationship that crossed the line. Now that Coley has the chance at her first real boyfriend, a decade’s worth of lies are on the verge of unraveling.

In this unforgettable powerhouse of a novel, Mindi Scott offers an absorbing, layered glimpse into the life of an everygirl living a nightmare that no one would suspect.


Live Through This is raw and painful, but also has plenty of fun and sweetness mixed in. This one is truly the perfect blend of something huge, something horrible, mixed with just trying to live your life. Coley very much ignores what’s happening to her, and does a remarkable job putting on an easy and brave front that she has her stuff together. Scott so beautifully weaves this into the book, but also lets Coley grow out of control in a very honest, realistic way.

I love Coley. She is a stunningly done character, a girl who just wants to get together with the boy she’s crushing on, become captain of her dance team, and hang out with her friends. She has a great sense of humor, is so loyal to her family, and is a great friend despite some problems with her best friend. Yeah, something bad is happening to her too, but there is such a strong drive in her not just to hide it, but to not let it ruin her life. While this certainly has its own impact on her, it also speaks so much for who she is, and this not only helps build her character and develop her, but makes her relatable and sympathetic.

Then there’s Reece, the love interest who is charming in the most dorky and sweet ways. He’s not the typical kind of guy, a scrawny guy who’s in band, but he’s open and honest and just so, so caring. Reece wormed his way into my heart, and totally had me rooting for him. I loved the romance in this one, from the Christmas gifts these two exchange to the way they finally tell each other they do, in fact, want to date. It’s so open, so real, and so awkward. Scott nails not only that unsure stage of liking someone and being pretty sure they like you back but also not totally knowing how to handle it, but also what it’s like to let someone into your life when you’ve got your own bits of darkness.

Even more notable about Live Through This, besides the fabulously done characterizations, is how, to me, this book stands apart from others with similar subject matter. In a way, Scott dances in a gray area of abuse, reminding readers abuse doesn’t always look like abuse, even if is still leaves its mark. What Coley goes through, and her reactions to it, are capture so honestly, I couldn’t help but feel punched in the gut. If you ever wonder why someone going through this doesn't just tell, Live Through This absolutely captures the confusion, the feelings, and even hints of loyalty that can come with something like this. Testing the layers of trust, and drawing out some hard truths, this one has a raw potency to it that even the cutest of moments doesn't override. Even if instinct says good things can't keep happening to someone going through what Coley is, or she shouldn't be distracted by the more trivial things in life, Scott proves that wrong without forcing it down the reader's throat. There is something softly fluid about Live Through This that jumps back and forth between the dark and the light, blending them as things progress without losing the reader's interest.

Source: ARC received from author/publisher in exchange for an honest review
Reading Level: 14 and up  
Paperback: 304 pages 
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: October 2, 2012

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