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Review by Suze
Chloe can't believe her luck when she gets the opportunity to spend the summer as an intern at the local newspaper. On her first assignment she meets Kieran. Kieran works at a garden center, but wants to be an actor. When he asks her out Chloe immediately says yes. Things at home are far from peaceful for Chloe and she could use a nice distraction. Her father has left and her mother isn't coping well, so Chloe has a lot of responsibilities. Kieran listens to Chloe's problems and he's attentive and kind to her. They fall in love quickly and soon they are inseparable.
Kieran tells Chloe about his past. His childhood was difficult and Chloe's heart aches for him. Because of this she initially accepts his mood swings. Kieran can become jealous and abusive and surprises Chloe with his behavior over and over again. Chloe loves him though, so she tries to be supportive and she wants to make things better for him. Meanwhile she's about to lose everything she holds dear. What's more important, being there for Kieran because he needs her or being a normal happy high school student again? And what would happen if Chloe would leave Kieran, can she handle the consequences or is it better to stay?
Girl on the Brink is a beautiful, shocking story. At first Chloe thinks she's found the perfect boyfriend. Kieran isn't like any boy she's ever met. He's kind, he listens to what she has to say and he seems to be genuinely interested in Chloe's life. He also gives her plenty of advice. Chloe thinks she's found the perfect boyfriend. When Kieran shows her his true nature Chloe tries to help him because of his past. She's sweet and caring and I had tears in my eyes when I read her story. Kieran is intense, he's suffocating and he's jealous. He uses his concern and affection to show Chloe that he's such a good and loving boyfriend, while she's the one with shortcomings. At first she believes him, which was heartbreaking to read. Christina Hoag has perfectly captured how abusive relationships start and how gradually the victim is being lured into the trap.
Girl on the Brink is impressive and very well written. Christina Hoag has made her story gripping and filled with emotion. I loved Chloe from the start. She's smart, she's capable and she has a bright future ahead of her. She doesn't have an easy time and she's vulnerable, which is why it's so easy for Kieran to get close. Christina Hoag shows her readers all the signs of (impending) abuse. I loved the way she intertwines information with a great story and she's writing about warning signals in a fantastic way. Girl on the Brink is a story about an incredibly important topic and the writing is amazing. It's a book that should be read by as many people as possible.
About Christina Hoag
Christina Hoag is the author of two novels, Skin of Tattoos, a literary crime thriller set in L.A.'s gang underworld published by Martin Brown Publishers, and Girl on the Brink, a YA romantic thriller about an abusive relationship published by Fire and Ice YA, an imprint of Melange Books.
She is the co-author of Peace in the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence (Turner Publishing, 2014), a ground breaking book about turning former gang members into street peacekeepers.
Her short fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry have been published in 25 literary journals with two of her short stories published in anthologies.
Christina worked as a reporter and editor for the Miami Herald and The Associated Press, among other news outlets, and won two writing awards from the New Jersey Press Association. She also worked in Latin America nearly a decade, reporting from 14 countries for major media including Time, Business Week, The Financial Times, the Houston Chronicle, and the New York Times. She speaks fluent Spanish.
Christina was born in New Zealand and grew up around the world. When she was six years old, she won a prize for "writing interesting stories." She launched her journalism career on a New Jersey high school newspaper. A graduate of Boston University, she is a member of International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime, and is a volunteer creative writing mentor with WriteGirl. She resides in Los Angeles.
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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.
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