Published by Simon and Schuster on 2012-10-02
Genres: Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, General, Sexual Abuse, Social Issues, Young Adult
When a relationship trespasses the boundaries of trust, the consequences are complex in this nuanced page-turner from “a formidable talent” (Booklist).If Coley Sterling’s best friend would stop hating her, if her dance-team captains would lighten up, if her friends would stop asking her about Reece, the geeky sax player she’s crushing on—then her life would be perfect. Right? After all, Coley’s stepdad is a successful attorney who gives Coley and her siblings everything, and her mother will stop at nothing to keep them all happy and safe—including having escaped ten years ago from the abuse of Coley’s real father. But Coley is keeping a lot of secrets. She won’t admit—not even to herself—that her almost-perfect life is her own carefully crafted façade. Now, Coley and Reece are getting closer, and a decade’s worth of Coley’s lies are on the verge of unraveling—along with the life she thought she knew.
This book has been on my wishlist for a long time after seeing other bloggers’ reviews on it. However, I could never find it at local book shops and I don’t order books online very often. Thus, I am just getting this book in my hands now after a thoughtful stranger sent it to me as part of the Reddit Book Exchange. I am kicking myself for not ordering it earlier!
Anyway, Live Through This follows the life of Coley Sterling. Coley is the girl we all wish we could’ve been. She is attractive, her family is financially secure, she is a member of the school’s dance team, and she is in the midst of a budding romance. However, this book embodies the quote, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”
Someone who is closely integrated into Coley’s life is sexual assaulting her. We find this out within the first chapter of the book in a very graphic scene. This may be off-putting to some, but I found it incredibly realistic and I really felt for Coley. No one should ever have to go through that kind of abuse. However, don’t get me wrong, the abuse is not the main focus of the novel. What Mindi Scott gives us is a heartbreaking story of an emotionally distraught teenager trying to make sense of the world.
Throughout the novel, we are left wondering who the perpetrator that harms Coley is. We are also made aware of a falling out between Coley and her former best friend. Lastly, we lay witness to the internal struggles Coley faces in regards to her sexual life with Reece. There was a lot of suspense and it really drove the story. I found myself flying through the pages trying to figure out the mystery surrounding these struggles.
Let’s talk about Reece for a second. Coley has developed a crush on him and he has also on her. We get to witness adorable exchanges between the two throughout the novel. One of my favorite parts of the novel was the little music lyric game they played together. One person would say a random lyric such as, “Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone,” and then the other will guess what song it is from. Each lyric is different and they range from straight up corny to adorable. This melted my heart! I would compare their relationship to Eleanor and Parks, they just work so well together. Also, the giraffe presents! Oof. Anyways, I loved them together!
I cannot recommend this book enough. It’s not very often that I find a young adult book tackling such a sensitive issue and doing it well. This novel will keep you on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next. I can’t explain how invested I was in Coley’s life. If you want a thought-provoking book with an adorable romance in between, this is your book.