by Cindy C Bennett
For Kate, life is pain. Pain at school, where her secondhand clothing and withdrawn personality make her the perfect target for bullies, but an even worse pain at home, where she lives with an alcoholic father and physically abusive mother. There is no safe place for Kate, except maybe her backyard swingset where, if she stays long enough, her mom will sometimes forget all about her and she can sneak safely into her bedroom after everyone is asleep for the night.
But all of that changes when Henry moves back into town. Her childhood crush, Henry seems to be the same kind, honest and gorgeous guy he always was, but Kate can no longer trust anyone's motives. Is Henry's attention just a set-up for a bigger humiliation? And even if Henry is sincere, the increasing level of abuse in Kate's home makes a relationship unlikely if not dangerous.
Ms. Bennett has crafted a realistic teen drama that was hard to put down. She has a great ear for YA voices, and I'm her newest fan.
This book was clean - there's quite a bit of kissing but it never goes beyond that. However, some of the abuse scenes are difficult to read, which is why I gave this book a PG-13 read. Not for tweens maybe, but appropriate for teens.
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