Live Through This
Author: Mindi Scott
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: 10-2-12
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 from the annoying drama. Plus, she has a great family to fall back on—with a stepdad and mom who would stop at nothing to keep her and her siblings happy and safe. 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, Coley and Reece are getting closer, and as Coley has the chance at her first real boyfriend, a decade’s worth of lies are on the verge of unraveling. – Goodreads
Live Through This tells the story of Coley, who has been living for years with someone who sexually abuses her. (Please note that this book does describe incidents of sexual abuse). By day, she gives the appearance of someone who is a normal teen girl with a boyfriend and a spot on the dance team. As we live inside Coley’s head, we learn that she is slowly crumbling apart inside. Her relationship with her boyfriend makes her realize that because of her abuse, which she can hardly admit to herself, she might not be able to engage in a healthy relationship with her boyfriend or anyone, for that matter. Without demonizing anyone, which is a credit to the writing, you are presented with a story that will leave you understanding the ripple effects that this abuse will have on Coley, her family and her friends.
I give Mindi Scott a lot of credit for writing a very disturbingly realistic book about sexual abuse. Coley has been enduring this for so long that she has talked herself out of really acknowledging that what happens to her isn’t ok. She has conflicted feelings about her abuser and about her own role in her abuse. It is an unflinching and emotional story. I did, however, have some conflicted feelings about the ending. In this case, the book has a very open ending. I was a little disappointed that a book that did such a good job of presenting a realistic depiction of sexual abuse would simply end without a window into Coley’s recovery, even in the form of an epilogue. For me, it was a little bit of a let down and I felt that it would have been better to round out Coley’s story and show that recovery might not be easy, but it is possible. However, that being said, this book was brutal in its honesty, and as I stated before, I think this is a story that needs to be told. I do understand that there are fewer books that tell the story of the abuse as it is ongoing and more that focus on the aftermath, so despite my reservations about the ending, there is no doubt that Live Through This was well written and very realistic.
I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review.