Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review: Exposed

Exposed by Kimberley Marcus

publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

release date: February 22, 2011

hardcover, 288 pages

intended audience: Young adult


source: from publisher for honest review

description:In the dim light of the darkroom, I'm alone, but not for long.
As white turns to gray, Kate is with me.
The background of the dance studio blurred, so the focus is all on her
legs extended in a perfect soaring split.
The straight line to my squiggle,
my forever-best friend.

Sixteen-year-old Liz Grayson is photogirl—sharp, focused and ready to take the world by storm with her camera. But Liz's entire life is called into question when her brother is accused of a crime—and the accuser is Liz's own best friend. As the aftershocks from that accusation rip through Liz's world, everything she thought she knew about photography, family, friendship and herself, shifts out of focus. And for the first time in her life, Liz finds herself unable to trust her own point of view. Told in stunning, searingly raw free verse, Exposed is Kimberly Marcus's gut-wrenching, riveting debut and will appeal to fans of Ellen Hopkins, Laurie Halse Anderson and Virginia Euwer Wolff.

Review: This amazing debut, written in free form verse, is a poignant look at how everything a person holds dear---their family foundation, their closest friendships, their own sense of self---can be shaken to it's core by one moment. It's beautifully written. One thing I've noticed about books written in verse (this is only the second that I've read) is that with so few words, and especially for this one, since its only 288 pages, each and every word packs this amazing emotional wallop. Each and every line has impact and perfectly conveys what the character is feeling and experiencing.

Liz and Kate have been friends forever, and planned to keep it that way. No matter what else is going on, they drop everything once a month and have a sleepover. During one of these sleepovers, they have a fight, Liz goes upstairs to her room, and from that night on, everything changes. Kate won't talk to her, won't return her calls, avoids her the school hallways. Liz is dumbfounded---the fight they had wasn't that bad. The mystery is solved a few days later when she finds out through word of mouth what happened when she left Kate alone that night and Liz's older brother came home.

I really felt for Liz being thrown into the middle of this, being left to try to decipher what really happened and which of these people that she loves is lying to her. Both sides have completely different stories. Her best friend in the world says she can't even look at her because when she does she sees her brother. Her brother says he did nothing wrong and is hurt that Liz doubts his innocence. Her parents are just barely holding it together, but also placing a lot on Liz's shoulders. Even Liz's one saving grace, her ability to lose herself to her photography and the future she had in it, seems to be slipping away. It was heartbreaking to read, brought me close to tears more than once. Everyone involved loses so much in these sorts of situations, everyone gets dragged through the mud. It's the kind of story that artfully and honestly presents both sides and gets you thinking. Definitely give this one a try.

Visit Kimberly Marcus's site here.

Purchase Exposed at: AmazonBN.comBookDepository Indiebound


  1. Thanks for the review Becky .. This book has been in my wishlist for a long time and I really can't wait to read it !! I'm even more excited about it now that I've read your review !! Thanks

  2. I love reading verse books and this book kind of sounds like Ellen Hopkins writing (I love Ellen Hopkins). Thanks for the review!

  3. Sounds really interesting and I have to admit that I haven't read a book in verse... Never too late to start.

    Thank you for the review!
    Pop pas the blog to say hi!

  4. I've been wanting to read this book for some time now! Great review :)

  5. Fantastic review! I hadn't heard of this before. The story sounds so moving. Sometimes free verse lends itself well to this kind of novel. Thanks for sharing your review.