Girl on the Brink by Christina Hoag
Genre: YA Romance/Thriller
Release date: August 30th, 2016
Fire and Ice YA/Melange Books
Sometimes the one you love isn’t the one you’re meant to be with.The summer before senior year, Chloe starts an internship as a reporter at a local newspaper. While on assignment, she meets Kieran, a quirky aspiring actor. Chloe becomes smitten with Kieran’s charisma and his ability to soothe her soul, torn over her parents’ impending divorce. But as their bond deepens, Kieran becomes smothering and flies into terrifying rages. He confides in Chloe that he suffered a traumatic childhood, and Chloe is moved to help him. If only he could be healed, she thinks, their relationship would be perfect. But her efforts backfire, and Kieran turns violent. Chloe breaks up with him, but Kieran pursues her relentlessly to make up. Chloe must make the heartrending choice between saving herself or saving Kieran, until Kieran’s mission of remorse turns into a quest for revenge.
“An engrossing tale of a dangerous teen romance.”–Kirkus Reviews
“Girl on the Brinkis a must have for every high school and public library.”–Isabelle Kane, Wisconsin high school librarian
ABOUT TEEN DATING VIOLENCE
Abusive relationships are widespread, cutting across socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, religious and gender preference lines. One in three high school girls experience dating violence, while more than half of college-aged women reported experiencing controlling behavior in a relationship. Eighty-nine percent of female college students said they were unable to recognize the signs of an abusive relationship, and a third of teens involved in intimate partner violence ever told anyone about it. For more information, see http://www.breakthecycle.org/dating-violence-research.
About the Author:
Christina Hoag is the author of Girl on the Brink, a romantic thriller for young adults (Fire and Ice YA/Melange Books, August 2016) and Skin of Tattoos, a literary thriller set in L.A.’s gang underworld (Martin Brown Publishing, September 2016). She is a former reporter for the Associated Press and Miami Herald and worked as a correspondent in Latin America writing for major media outlets including Time, Business Week, Financial Times, the Houston Chronicle and The New York Times. She is the co-author of Peace in the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence, a groundbreaking book on gang intervention (Turner Publishing, 2014). She resides in Los Angeles. For more information, see http://www.christinahoag.com.
Quick Reasons: trigger warning–physical abuse, emotional abuse, violence; this was hard to read, but so cathartic at the same time; my life in book form!; emotional, harrowing, heart-wrenching read; poignant and powerful; all girls/women need to read this book
Huge thanks to Christina Hoag, Fire & Ice Young Adult Books, and YA Bound Book Tours for sending me a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
Okay, penguins–it’s time for a tiny confession. Heading into this read, I was very worried. You see… I am a domestic abuse survivor. He never got the chance to take it farther than emotional and psychological abuse, but the scars–invisible as they may be–are very, very much real. I knew, when I read the synopsis for this book, that that was EXACTLY what was waiting for me with this read. But something about this book called to me, regardless. I decided to take a chance, triggering content be derned. (And yes, I meant to say derned!)
Christina Hoag took a very important, very challenging subject…and made it relatable. Personable. REAL. I know the statistics, penguins–so, so many women have faced, are facing, or will in the future face this exact situation. The problem is, hardly none of us actively talk about our experiences–it’s been drilled into us to keep silent, to keep secret, to keep hidden. Christina Hoag knew that, I believe–and used that to weave an emotionally harrowing, daunting story of first love…and the many ways it can go wrong or destroy the soul.
What I’m trying to say is, this book is super important, and I feel every girl/woman needs to read it. There is emotional turmoil. There are some very difficult scenes to read and digest. But there’s also a raw, unbridled honesty laced into every word–and, at the end, something I feel we ALL need to hear more of: the reminder that we can get through it, that we can stand tall, that we deserve better. That we are loved. The characters are complex and well-written; the prose is subtly poetic and altogether beautiful. The journey is heart-wrenching, and terrifying, and hits home so hard–but it’s so important, all the same.
I have so much admiration and respect for Christina Hoag, and this book. She achieved something that many struggle with: a fine mixture of blunt honesty and raw sensitivity, a way to reach out of the pages and into readers’ very souls. I recommend this to lovers of contemporary fiction, poetic and poignant prose, and heart-wrenching journeys…but please, if you’re easily triggered by abuse, be careful going into this read. I will be keeping an eye out for future Christina Hoag novels with bated breath (I know, this is perhaps a weird choice of words following such a heavy read, but I’m going with it); I cannot wait to see what she tackles next.
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