Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Exposure by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

Exposure: A Twisted Lit Novel. Kim Askew and Amy Helmes. Merit Press. YA Fiction. January 2013. 272 pp. pbk.  ISBN # 9781440552618.

Skye Kingston is a phenomenal photographer, even though she is only a high school Senior in a small Alaskan town.  She’s smart and initially not a popular gal, but she’s made a good friend in Craig.  Soon Craig has moved into the popular group of students as a result of his superb hockey skills.  Beth latches onto Craig and definitely views Skye as an unwelcome addition to their group; in fact, she is just plain nasty to Skye.  As Skye is a serious student and spends a great deal of time on developing her own pictures, she’s annoyed but doesn’t allow herself to fall apart over such a nasty gal. Well, that’s what she says while her thoughts and emotions keep swirling!

Home isn’t much better, with Skye’s parents barely speaking and her mother appearing to avoid being home whenever possible.  Skye suspect a divorce is a distinct future possibility but says nothing, thinking if unsaid perhaps it will never happen.  Still, it’s another bump that could definitely affect her future.  How could Skye go away to college, knowing her father will need help with her sibling and how can her parents afford her tuition if they might not be together?

Then one night Skye is invited to a party.  Craig invited her, never realizing she for a change just might accept the invitation instead of refusing in her normal response.  Drinking begins and soon after a game begins which resembles a teenage version of hide-and-seek but which ends in total disaster, the death of Duncan and some whispered words Skye accidentally overhears. 

How these teens deal with the tragic death of one of their own and their reactions as the investigation very slowly unfolds is tension-ridden reading. Many secrets will also slowly be revealed. The discovery process of the Hamlet-style murder mystery, as well as the unfolding of Skye’s family and future life, makes for a terrific read that isn’t predictable at all.  Riddled with tension and some poignant and potent moments, Exposure is a terrific teen read.  These authors know their audience and have told a riveting read guaranteed to make readers want more like it in The Twisted Lit collection. Highly recommended!

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