Posted by: jeannineatkins | April 15, 2011

What I’m Reading: Exposed by Kimberly Marcus

 

I’d heard the situation of this novel in verse before I read the first page. In Exposed by Kimberly Marcus two best friends fight at a sleepover, so Kate is alone downstairs when her friend Liz’s brother comes home from college. Liz, a high school senior who’s passionate about photography, is brilliantly chosen as the narrator, who must decide who’s telling the truth about what happened that night, and finds how truth is rarely black and white or as contained as a photograph. The gripping plot made me glad for poems that didn’t fill each page, which meant I could turn them quickly, but beyond the plot were questions that made me slow down to breathe deeply and consider. There’s violence, but also love of family, friends, and art built through well-chosen words and metaphor.

People are profiled swiftly, so we think we know them, but Liz wonders about the damage such “snapshots” can do and what they leave out. And yet… there are a lot of wonderful “and yets” here, without ever bogging down the action.. Liz claims:

“But I wonder if maybe there’s still room
for catching magic in a moment….
Where a girl,
as she dances,
looks lighter than air.”

Liz is thoughtful about the complicated world, while also being clear and direct with her instincts, as a good photographer should be. This book took me through a lot of strong emotions, and I never wanted to look away.

For the Poetry Friday Roundup, visit Random Noodling

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Responses

  1. xoxo!

  2. Kim shared a bit of this when it was still a WIP, years ago at a writing retreat and I still remember the story. I’m looking forward to reading this! 🙂

  3. xoxo!

  4. There is little cooler than reading something at its marked-up-and-much-of-this-will-change-stage. Then seeing it in print. I think you’re going to like this, Debbi!

  5. I’ve wanted to read this book since first hearing about it. I know I’ll need to be in the “right” frame of mind, though. Not going to be fluffy reading, that’s for sure.

  6. Tracy, it’s not light, but having the friend/sister tell the story was a great strategy, I think, not only because she has to react to different reports of what happened, but because while she’s deeply hurt and confused, she still moves ahead with her own compelling need to forge a life away from high school and family, which means putting together a portfolio that’s going to get her into art school. The photos work as metaphors, but also keep us at a certain distance and remind us of the beauty of ordinary life.

  7. That does sound like a great strategy. Thanks for the encouragement (sometimes I feel as if I need someone to hold my hand while I read about difficult situations).

  8. Hi, Jeannine. The book sounds fascinating. Thanks for the review. I’m going to look for it.

  9. Yep, it’s a great read. Emotional, though-provoking, tense and satisfying.

  10. I enjoyed this book a lot and you’re right, it carries us through a lot of strong emotions and a few punches to the gut.

  11. Thanks for stopping by, Laura, during your busy busy month!

  12. I’m glad you liked Exposed, too!

  13. I’m glad you read and liked Exposed, too. It does seem like your kind of book!


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