Sarah's Stars

Alex Flinn. Breathing Underwater
Harper Tempest  $11.99   ISBN 0-06-447257-4  263 pg.
Reviewed by Sarah

Being abused by his father isn't new to 16-year-old Nick Andreas. When he knows his father is drunk or angry, he sleeps over at his best friend Tom's house, so that his father cannot take out his anger on him. Nobody knows, not even Tom, what Nick's father does to Nick.

The second week of sophomore year, Nick meets the girl of his dreams and within minutes he's asked her out on a date. They fall for each other, and soon Nick is relying more than he thinks on Caitlin's being around. At first, neither of them realizes that he is mentally abusing her the same way his father abuses him. She soon finds out about his father's abusive behaviour, but Nick swears her to secrecy. He promises himself he will never hit Caitlin the way his father hits him, but, despite his best intentions, he is growing up to be just like his father.

I really enjoyed Alex Flinn's writing style. The past-and-present format was riveting. I thought it was remarkable characterization to have everybody but Nick understand the seriousness of his actions. His blindness to the situation made the story very credible. I would give this book five stars for its captivating writing style, great plot, plausible characters, and for being an excellent read.

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