Live Through This by Mindi Scott
Published: October 2, 2012 by Simon Pulse
Received: ARC for review from publisher
Sometimes hiding the truth requires more than a lie . . .
From the outside, Coley Sterling’s life seems pretty normal . . . whatever that means. It’s not perfect—her best friend is seriously mad at her and her dance team captains keep giving her a hard time—but Coley’s adorable, sweet crush Reece helps distract her from the annoying drama. Plus, she has a great family to fall back on—with a stepdad and mom who would stop at nothing to keep her and her siblings happy and safe.
But Coley has a lot of secrets. She won’t admit—not even to herself—that her almost-perfect life is her own carefully-crafted façade. That for years she’s been burying the shame and guilt over a relationship that crossed the line. Now, Coley and Reece are getting closer, and as Coley has the chance at her first real boyfriend, a decade’s worth of lies are on the verge of unraveling. [goodreads]
This book deals with a very tough subject: sexual abuse. But it's not the type of abuse you see flashed across the headlines or even think of when someone mentions those two gut-wrenching words. This form of sexual abuse is the kind that begins in a place of trust, love and loyalty. It evolves in to a form of confusion, betrayal and utter disbelief. I have never read a story that's been told this way. The idea that this actually exists; that someone out there is really living through this, breaks my heart. But the fact that Mindi Scott has found the courage to write about it, shines a bit of hope on to such a heartbreaking issue. The power of literature can be profound, and I feel that this novel has the capacity to go so much further than just the written word.
Coley is the picture perfect teenage girl. She comes from a family that's busting at the seams, literally with 5 kids, and so much love. She is a part of her high school's dance team, complete with all her best friends. Her magnificent smile can light up a room; and capture the hearts of any boy. She is sweet, beautiful and talented. A total package wrapped up so nicely with the most perfect bow sitting on top. What she's hiding inside though, has the potential to rip her perfect package to shreds. It's a secret she isn't even capable of believing herself.
Maybe if she closes her eyes, pretends she's asleep he won't touch her.... there.
Maybe if she pretends it's the boy she likes at school, and not him.... it won't be so bad.
These are the thoughts that liter Coley's mind.
I found myself holding my breath, waiting to find out who the violator was. I kept expecting it to be this horrible monster. That is what we usually assume when someone is being victimized. However, in this case, the story is completely not what you'd expect. My heart went out to Coley, so many times. I saw the struggles she had at keeping the perfect face for the world to see, but I also saw the demons she fought within herself to keep that secret hidden. Coley's world became divided by fear and confusion.
I commend Mindi Scott for giving life to a story that must not have been easy to write. Though the subject matter is tough to swallow, it still needs to be discussed. No one should be the victim to this type of abuse, no matter how confusing it may be. I highly encourage those to read this book for the beauty in it's writing, the rich characterization that follows Coley, and absolutely for the message it delivers in the end.
Live Through This is a book that I will not be able to forget. I don't want to either. Coley's story is something that needs to be shared, understood and listened to. As I mentioned before, the power of literature can be so profound. Thank you Mindi for writing this story.