Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Exposed by Kimberly Marcus

Kimberly Marcus
Publisher: Random House
Released: February 22, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Source: won from Random Buzzers
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.
A couple months ago I featured this book in a Waiting on Wednesday post. And then a few weeks ago I featured it again in honor of World Poetry Day. So when I saw ARCs were up for grabs on Random Buzzers, I knew I had to try and get my hands on one. To say I was excited to find it in my mailbox would be a major understatement. I wasted little time diving in, and it was exactly what I'd been looking for.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but when one is painted so vividly with only a few, I believe a writer has truly struck gold. In her young adult debut, Kimberly Marcus has created a compelling story told with sparse prose yet amazing imagery.

Exposed begins with Liz in photography class. She moves about the dark room with ease and precision, much like she moves through life with best friend Kate and boyfriend Brian at her side. But soon things change. Liz and Kate have a fight during one of their sleepovers, and even though Liz immediately feels guilty about the things she said, she leaves Kate on her own for the night. The next morning Kate is gone before Liz has the chance to apologize. She won't return her phone calls, and she begins avoiding her at school. Liz can't figure out what's the big deal, and Kate isn't talking to anyone. Without Kate, Liz is lost. She no longer sees things as she once did, and even hiding behind her camera is no longer working.

I'd like to say more, but I really don't want to give anything away. I felt as frustrated as Liz when Kate wouldn't speak to her, and when Kate finally opened up I think I was just as shocked. The big reveal was a punch to my gut, and I'd hate to take away that feeling from my readers. Liz was an incredibly convincing character. She was reasonably confused, upset, and angry, and she had my empathy from the very start.

Kimberly Marcus is an author to watch - Exposed was beautifully written, and the characters were well-fleshed. I'm anxious to see what else she has in store for us in the future.

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