Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Review: Live Through This by Mindi Scott

Title: Live Through This
Author: Mindi Scott
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release date: October 2nd 2012
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Bought
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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.
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Live Through This is subtle but stunning, raw and heart-wrenching. I don't even know what to say about it; the more I think about it, the more I realize how amazing this book truly is.

I loved Coley's character; she's so real, her feelings about the abuse are so heartbreakingly honest. I felt her pain and her shame, and how this relationship goes back and forth between pain and hatred and love and loyalty. This concept is something I hadn't read about before, and this different kind of abuse was eye-opening to read about. Live Through This was a shocking read, but it also makes me so happy that Mindi Scott found the strength to write about this topic, which couldn't have been easy, given her own experiences with abuse.

While reading, I didn't like how late we find out about the book's main issue, but the more I think about it, the more I like how the novel is structured. I liked the suspense in the beginning of not knowing who the abuser is, how it made us feel Coley's confusion about the whole situation. I saw it coming, but I kept hoping it wouldn't be him, and when we finally found out, I wanted to hold on to Coley and never let her go. I like how this set-up allowed the reader to also have some happy, light scenes, like when we got to read about the innocent romance between Coley and Reece; Mindi Scott really impressed me with how she layered this dark issue with lighter sub-plots and sweet, fun scenes. Still, I wish we'd gotten some more time at the end to explore the main issue, but maybe that's just because I wanted the book to go on longer.

The secondary characters added a lot to the novel; each of them is fully fleshed-out and has their own story. I loved the cute romance with Reese, the sweet friendship between Coley and Noah, and Alejandra's story as well.

As a huge fan of Mindi Scott's debut, it also made me happy to find out that Live Through This is set in the same town as Freefall, and to see some of Freefall's characters again.

I still can't put my finger on what it is that makes this book so special; it's everything. It's heartbreaking and raw, honest feeling, but at the same time, it's sweet and funny. Mindi Scott tells a stunningly beautiful and powerful story that I know I won't soon forget.

And one more random thing: I love how Coley wears considerable amounts of makeup! It seems to me like YA MCs never wear much makeup, or do anything for their appearance - there are so many scenes where the MC just jumps out of bed and is naturally beautiful. But, well, when is that ever true in real life? If I were about to meet up with my swoony YA love interest, I would definitely take the time, you know, brush my hair. And I love how there's references to Coley needing too long in the bathroom in Live Through This.


  1. Sounds like a great read and one I hadn't heard of - thanks for the review!


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