Author: Jo Ramsey
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 10/15/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Young Adult
Sixteen-year-old Jim Frankel has become the thing he loathes, and he can’t stand thinking about what he has done.
After being accused of sexual assault by two girls, Jim serves out his sentence in a juvenile detention facility. He’s shocked by the arrest for what he thought was consensual sex, and terrified his own childhood sexual abuse has twisted him into a predator—just like the man who molested him.
Upon release, Jim is no longer welcome at his family home, and with nowhere else to turn, he travels from Massachusetts to Michigan to live with his father’s cousin, Delia. Keeping his head down, Jim works hard at Delia’s art supply shop and prays no one will find out about the awful crime he committed. It’s his chance for a new beginning, but when he makes his first friend in Man-Shik Park, Jim is afraid to let him get too close. But by walling himself off from the support Manny’s offering, Jim might sabotage the opportunities in front of him.
This was a truly enjoyable story with a unique character and plotline.
The part of the blurb that mentioned the main character was “shocked by the arrest for what he thought was consensual sex…” is what drew me to the story. I wondered how an author could write about a rapist and make him redeemable. Truthfully, I doubted it could be done. But I was wrong. I’m sure there are people who will disagree and not like Jim at all because of what he did, but I think the author did a masterful job showing his remorse and his growth.
This is the fifth book in a series but I haven’t read any of the other books in the series. It can be read as a standalone though I plan to check out the other books when possible. The first two were reviewed by Brandilyn here.
Judging by the blurbs for the other Jim’s story begins there and the stories of his victims are included. In this book, Jim has been abandoned by his parents and is living in a new town with his father’s cousin, Delia. He’s trying to start over but is no way trying to forget what he did in the past. He owns up for his crimes and grieves for the pain he caused the two girls he raped. Though it’s said often he didn’t realize he was raping them at the time, it’s never made as an excuse. He was willing to serve time for what he did, but the judge only ordered a short time in a juvenile detention center.
Jim wants to get on with his life but is afraid people in the small town will discover his past. He’s not too concerned about what will happen to him but doesn’t want Delia to suffer for his crimes.
There are some serious issues dealt with here. I have to echo what Brandilyn said in her review of the first two books.
“I recommend these titles to anyone with a child in the appropriate age range, LGBT or not. The message is too important.”
There were parts of the story that were absolutely heartbreaking, namely when Jim checks out his Facebook page and later when he talks about the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend when he was young.
Jim eventually becomes friends with a young man named Manny, though at first he tries to stop the friendship from happening. When he finally allows himself to have a buddy, Jim tells Manny the truth about his past. Manny’s reaction is realistic as is the reactions of his parents when he tells them. As things happen in small towns, the story spreads and people react in various ways.
How Jim, Delia, Manny and Manny’s mother deal with the trouble that arises was perfect. The author nailed the nuances of each person while still staying in Jim’s head the entire time.
Highly recommended. So very very highly recommended.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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