Gemma: A Novel
by Meg Tilly
Twelve-year-old Gemma is enjoying her young life on the outside, but she has a secret. She is being sexually abused by Buddy, her mother's boyfriend. He sells her out to Hazen Woods, who pays $100 to have sex with Gemma.
Hazen, later on, kidnaps Gemma, and they drive all over the country. She tries to get away, but he always found her. She gave up. Nobody would listen if she asked for help, no one would help her. She can't tell anyone anything, because Buddy embedded that Gemma would go to jail if anyone found out. She stays strong with her imagination, and thinks that eventually, she will be home again.
This is a difficult book for me to review. And it was a difficult book to read. I had no idea what to expect when I began reading this novel, because I knew it was about child abuse, which is a really tough subject for anyone. And as a disclaimer, this book is definitely not for younger readers.
The novel started off somewhat slow. But it wasn't long before I couldn't stop reading. I felt so much pain, Gemma's pain, from the start. I had trouble understanding how anyone could treat a child in that way. I think that the story was made better since it goes back and forth between Gemma's point of view and Hazen's. After reading Hazen's point of view for the first time, I could not FATHOM how a grown man could be so disgusting.
So, this novel was tough to read. But in reality, it was amazing. Really. By the end of the novel, I was so happy for Gemma, yet so sad for her. Books don't often give off this much emotion, which made the book even better for me.
To find out more about this novel, and Meg's others, you can check out her site, here.
*released February 16, 2010
**reviewed for TeensReadToo