Barren by Elizabeth Miceli
Publication Date October 6th 2015
Publisher Swoon Romance
*** PUBLISHER’S ALERT: MATURE CONTENT WARNING ***
Recommended for ages 16+. Includes scenes that depict drug use, teen sex, and sexual assault.
This book contains mature content and depiction of a seventeen-year-old girl’s rape at the hands of another student. It is a chilling first person point of view account of something that occurs across the country at parties just like the one depicted in this story, and we wanted the fictional account to feel raw and as devastating. We also understand that these scenes may be difficult and uncomfortable for some. We recommend this novel for readers ages sixteen and older.
“I cried, praying for him to finish. I closed my eyes and tried to envision myself somewhere else… somewhere where I was happy. I thought of my family all piled around our tree on Christmas morning. I thought of singing with my band. I thought of Caitlin and me baking cookies and watching movies together. But after just a few seconds of pretending, Mike would hit me or thrust deeper, and I would be back in reality. I was being raped. I was all alone. I was a damsel in distress. And there was no one there to save me.”
Seventeen-year-old Stacey Lorenzo’s poor self-esteem has always consumed her. When her significant weight loss leaves her still feeling powerless- and with an eating disorder- she turns to partying to cope. This only makes matters worse because at a party she is raped, which leaves her psyche at an all-time low. Stacey drugs, cuts, and hooks up with countless guys in an attempt to find herself. But if Stacey doesn’t find a way to face her demons and overcome her fears, she might find herself in a hole so dark, even love won’t be able to pull her out.
Barren is written by debut author Elizabeth Miceli. It is a devastating and dark account of one girl’s plummet to the very bottom of the human experience and the horrific and petrifying road to recovery and self-worth.
REVIEW This is an emotional book, to say the least. I had a hard time grasping on to one emotion, and then jumping to the next. Miceli, it seems, has explored all of the issues that are common amongst teen girls. How they look – dating – weight – sex – drugs – self harm, are just a few. Rape. That is one subject that I will read about, because I want to see how the author has her character(s) handle the issue. As I was reading, I was conflicted in my feelings about how it all went down. I’m not victim blaming. No, I would never blame a victim for getting violated that way. My problem was Stacey. She has a slew of issues that already seem insurmountable. She’s naive when it comes to sex, in general. When you are performing oral sex, in the hopes that the guy will want more – that is the question. Isn’t it? She wanted it at first, but then she started thinking about how wrong it was. By then, Mike was all in and didn’t care about her cries of “no” and “stop”. No means no. End of.
Stacey’s character was all over the place. I wish that the author would have taken the time to let her emotions settle. Some things didn’t make sense to me, but then I really felt bad for her. Not only was she all over the place emotionally, but she seemed to be into a million things. Work, school, her band and partying like a rockstar. Every time she stuck her finger in her mouth, I cringed. Bulimia is a hard subject to read about. Stacey was really good at lying to her family about what was really going on with her. And the one boy that she desperately wanted, shot her down. He tried hard to redeem himself, but I really didn’t care for his character. Stacey’s thoughts about the opposite sex’s private parts were a little waggish. I laughed because those were the thoughts of an inexperienced teen and it made total sense. Still, it was comical to read. Her mannerisms were that of a child trying to be an adult. If I don’t agree with anything else in life, I can say that teens today have more sex than adults.
All in all, this is an okay read. The writing was a little hard to understand, because it all seemed to tumble out. I think the subject matter is a lot to deal with, especially since it’s all happening to one character. It has some positive points that make you want to know how it all will end. Stacey has a lot going on with her, and I felt worn out by the end. Still, I think that readers who love to tackle realistic subjects will enjoy this book. It’s an emotional roller coaster, but I’m glad to have read it. Recommended.
ABOUT ELIZABETH MICELI:
Elizabeth hails from the smallest state with the biggest heart. She started off at The University of Akron and then transferred to the University of Rhode Island. She is a double major in both Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies. Although she loves writing- she also has a passion for helping others which is why she is studying to become a sex therapist/couples counselor. Elizabeth loves spending time with her family and friends, singing, eating everything Italian, and baking cookies. She is “in love with love” which is probably why the driving force in almost everything she writes is romance. When she’s not getting lost in her characters she can be found waiting for her prince charming in her North Kingstown, Rhode Island home.
Connect with the Author: | | Goodreads
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