Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Book review: Exposure

Portuguese cover
Synopsis: Amelia Wilkes’s strict father does not allow her to date, but that doesn’t stop the talented, winsome high school senior from carrying on a secret romance with her classmate Anthony Winter. Desperately in love, the two envision a life together and plan to tell Amelia’s parents only after she turns eighteen and is legally an adult. Anthony’s mother, Kim, who teaches at their school, knows—and keeps—their secret. But the couple’s passion is exposed sooner than planned: Amelia’s father, Harlan, is shocked and infuriated to find naked pictures of Anthony on his daughter’s computer. Just hours later, Anthony is arrested.Despite Amelia’s frantic protests, Harlan uses his wealth and influence with local law enforcement and the media to label Anthony a deviant who preyed on his innocent daughter. Spearheaded by a zealous prosecutor anxious to turn the case into a public crusade against “sexting,” the investigation soon takes an even more disturbing and destructive turn.
As events spiral wildly out of control and the scandalous story makes national news, Amelia and Anthony risk everything in a bold and dangerous attempt to clear their names and end the madness once and for all. 

Review: Having never read anything by Therese Fowler before, I dived into this novel not really knowing what to expect. It was one of those books where I read the synopsis, thought it seemed to have a very nice plot idea and instantly bought it.
I can't say I loved it, but I didn't completely dislike it either.

The plot is pretty consistent throughout the entire novel and the character's reactions to every single situation is realistic enough to make you want to keep reading. One of the details that I particularly liked about this book was the depiction of the legal system and how the manipulation of facts and testimonies can deeply affect the outcome of the entire trial, as well as the lives of the people involved. I also liked the way the author captured the different dynamics, believes, culture and background of the two families involved, Amelia's and Anthony's, since it makes the whole story much more interesting and believable when you are able to see just how much the relation between Anthony and his mother differs from that of Amelia and her parents, and how that contrast affects the way they deal with and perceive this entire situation.

Nevertheless, the pace of the story can be quite slow at some points, making it hard to keep the reader interested in those parts. Plus, there are quite a few moments in the book where the plot doesn't advance and the reader is confronted with a set of conversations and situations that, after a while, can get incredibly boring and repetitive.
As far as characters are concerned, I found them all to be very realistically portrayed and enjoyable to read about, although I think Amelia lacked a bit of depth and personality. I didn't like the dynamic between Anthony and Amelia either and, although there were a lot of sweet and well thought-of moments between the two of them, their whole relationship seemed very forced and hollow to me right from the beginning. I did really like to read about Anthony, though. He was probably my favourite character in the novel.

Overall, I give this book 3.5 out of 5★.
Maria xx

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