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Publishers Weekly, 2009-09-14 Sexually abused for five years, studious 12-year-old Jillian Maxwell lives in terror of her pedophile stepfather, Byron James, in Roby's (The Best of Everything) powerful short novel. The nightmare begins with her stepfather's inappropriate fondling shortly after the birth of her half-sister, Layla, and gradually escalates. Byron warns her that Roxanne, Jillian's mom, won't believe her if she tells and later says he'll start abusing Layla if Jillian doesn't cooperate. When revelations about Byron's abuse of another underage girl surfaces, Roxanne kicks him out, but then takes him back. Meanwhile, Nikki, Jillian's BFF, is obsessed with promiscuous Marcus, who sees nothing wrong in "running a train" (gangbanging) on Nikki with two of his pals during a school dance. Nikki becomes a laughingstock and almost kills herself, which is the turning point for Jillian, who learns that Nikki is an abuse survivor. A heart-wrenching confrontation leads to a resolution with hopeful repercussions. An intense gem in an authentic voice. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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