Thursday, July 28, 2011
Published May 2011
Source: the publisher
Eighteen-year-old Anthony Winter and seventeen-year-old Amelia Wilkes are in love and looking forward to a future together. The plan for the two high-school seniors, stars of the high school drama department, is to study theater in New York with Broadway as their ultimate goal. Life should be perfect, shouldn't it?
There's just one problem - Amelia's father. Harlan Wilkes is a self-made man who rose from humble beginnings to own a string of high-end automotive dealerships. He's given Amelia every advantage in life and he's not about to stand by and watch her throw it all away. Up until recently, Amelia has always done everything Harlan expected of her without question. But Amelia knows that Harlan won't approved of her college plans and he certainly won't approve of Anthony (son of the art teacher in the private school the kids attend, Anthony for free because of his mother). So she' s hidden both her plans and her relationship from her father.
Then one day Amelia and Anthony's world comes crashing down on their heads when Harlan finds some naked pictures of Anthony on Amelia's computer. Having no idea that the two are in a relationship, Harlan jumps to the conclusion that Anthony is some kind of pervert and calls the police. Nothing, not even the truth, will prevent Harlan from punishing Anthony and an eager district attorney is more than willing to help even if it means ruining lives.
Over and over again, the characters in Exposure wonder why the law is choosing to make an example of two young people when so many other young people are doing the same thing. And that's just what I was wondering as well; would any local authority so aggressively go after a teenager for naked pictures on his girlfriend's computer? Maybe. In the right small town. If you had the right person, looking to climb the political ladder. Then I began to wonder, would a school full of young people really turn on a young man for sending those pictures as did the young people in this book? Undoubtedly some would. I couldn't help but think, though, that even more wouldn't think of it as any big deal. Even more, I began to wonder if the legal maneuverings in this book would/could really happen. And I began to wonder what I would do if the same thing happened to my son. How would I react? How would I find the wherewithal to pay for all of the legal fees? Clearly, Exposure got me thinking.
In the end, though, it was all just a bit too much for me. Everything that could go wrong, did; every conceivable charge that might be drummed up, was. There was just so much young love angst. And the ending just did not work for me. As the mother of a teenagers, Exposure reinforced my belief that all of these wonderful electronic devices can be dangerous in the hands of young people whose hormones are in overdrive. Even if I didn't necessarily believe that a person would be charged with all of the counts that came up in the book, I have to admit that it made me worry. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go have another talk with my kids.