Author: Jennifer Lane
Publication: March 27, 2012
Audience: Young Adult, 16 and up
Rating: 3.5 out 5
Source: Author, Blog Tour
Seems like Leo Scott has it all: looks, brains, and athletic talent. He’s captain of his high school swim team with a bright future in college and beyond. But Leo has secrets. His mother’s crippling car accident has devastated his family and left Leo to deal with his father’s abuse, battered and alone.
Leo’s girlfriend Audrey Rose is poised for her own share of success. As one of Florida’s top high school swimmers, Audrey dreams of college swimming stardom. But there’s an obstacle to her glorious rise to the top. Her number-one supporter--her father--is in prison for murder.
Part murder mystery, part tale of young love in a military family, this gripping story takes readers on a journey from Pensacola to Annapolis. Leo and Audrey must band together to rise above the adversity they encounter and find their true selves in the process. When everything’s on the line . . . streamline.
Violent, painful and angry. This is what I feel from the book but also the power of love and healing. Leo is a very dynamic character, he has many levels beneath the surface. He is good person inside, who has to struggle with the emotional, physical and mental turmoil that being abused can cause. The constant, if I just do what I'm told and be good, he won't hurt me again.This is not an excellent way to motivate a child, when you take away the love and the safety that a child needs and turn that into frequent violent, destructive and insensible outbursts, who does the child turn to?What does that child become? In Leo's case, he found love and solace with Audrey Rose and swimming but he also must struggle to figure out who is and not allow the sins and abuse of his father to consume and define him. The plot for this book covered a number of topics from murder, rape, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, physical abuse and a few other things. I think it was too many things to try to focus on in one book though each idea sort of flow into the one another. For me this slowed the pace of the read for me as well as the intensity of the abusive scenes that made me have to pause a couple of moments.
There are several different story paths, some complete and some that left me hanging. The two story plots that left me a bit confused are the one dealing with military personnel Roland Drake, who I was thinking was involved in the murder that Audrey's father is accused of committing but he appears about one or two more times and then his story kind of drops off. Then one point Mr. Rose said something along the lines of he lost two grandchildren and I was wondering did he cheat on his wife Joanne and is Audrey Cam's sister. Cameron is the love interest of Leo's brother Jason. Now the character that is the most complex and sinister is Mr. Scott, you will have mixed emotions of anger, sympathy and possibly rage. His abusive behavior is incomprehensible but it is easy to identify where his behavior originates from because of his anger at the loss of his parents and upbringing in the foster system. His foster parent dealt him a firm hand and he learned this behavior and therefore feels that this is the best way to make his sons better than him. He is a ticking time bomb that his family never knows will completely explode and destroy them all. So, to cut this short...heartbreaking, sad and emotional read about love, loss and redemption. As this covers a truly deep subject matter, I recommend this for teens 16 and up.
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