Shawn is the guy Ronnie Bird promised her life to at the age of fourteen. He's her soul mate. He's more uptight every day, but it's not his fault. His family life is stressful, and she's adding to it. She just needs to be more understanding, and he'll start to be the boy she fell in love with. She won’t give up on someone she’s loved for so long.Luke is her best friend, and the guy she hangs with to watch girlie movies in her large blanketopias. He's the guy she can confide in before she even goes to her girlfriends, and the guy who she's playing opposite in Romeo and Juliet. Now her chest flutters every time he gets too close. This is new. Is Ronnie falling for him? Or is Juliet? The lines are getting blurry, but leaving one guy for another is not something that a girl like Ronnie does.Shawn’s outbursts are starting to give her bruises, and Luke’s heart breaks as Ronnie remains torn. While her thoughts and feelings swirl around the lines between friendship and forever, she’s about to lose them both.
ebook, 176 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Tribute Books
Four Stars: A compelling read that focuses on a difficult topic!
Ronnie is excited to start her senior year. She has two wonderful best friends, Mindy and Luke, and best of all the boy she has been in love with she was twelve moved back last winter and they are so in love and happy. At least, that is what she tells herself. Yet, things haven't been perfect lately with Shawn. He has been moody, distant and they have been fighting more. She blames the situation on the added pressure he is experiencing at his job and at home. If she is just a bit more patient and understanding things will surely iron out, after all this is the boy with whom she is meant to be with forever. The problem is no matter how hard she tries things don't smooth out. She is constantly walking on eggshells not knowing what will aggravate Shawn. It could be something simple like wearing high heeled shoes that sets him off. One day his anger escalates into physical aggression when he grabs her wrist and bruises it. Despite this incident, Ronnie is still convinced that Shawn is the only boy for her, but why is she suddenly experiencing these fluttery new feelings for her best friend Luke?
What I Liked:
- I absolutely applaud Ms. Perry for addressing this difficult topic. So many women out there suffer horrible abuse inflicted on them by the person they love. I was so glad to read this book and I am grateful that Knee Deep will help spread awareness. Granted this book focuses on a teenager caught in the beginning stages of a relationship that unexpectedly turns abusive, but it is still a compelling novel, one I think any teenage girl should read.
- I appreciated that the violence was minimal. I think this was important because first, it shows that aggression even small acts, like grabbing an arm, are a form of abuse. Using little incidents and finally building to a more violent scene show how it can quickly start and escalate. Young girls need to be aware that even a slight infraction like a harmful grab is a form of abuse!
- I also loved the way that Ronnie's character was portrayed. She is young, innocent and naive. A girl who feel in love at twelve with the first boy who made her heart flutter. She is convinced that Shawn is her fairy tale happy ending and that they are going to be together; no matter what. She reminds me of a little girl stubbornly clinging to her first fairy princess dress, despite the fact that it doesn't fit like it should anymore and it is worn and tattered. Her relationship with Shawn is much like that ill fitting dress. The relationship has turned into an abusive and controlling situation that will only fester and grow worse over time. She spends most of the book second guessing and trying to convince herself it is somehow her fault. I know many readers may struggle with her naïveté, but Ms. Perry gets it right in her depiction. Ronnie is the perfect example of how it is so easy for a girl to slip into one of these bad relationships. So many women are stuck in these cycles of violence. Time and time again, coming back when he apologizes and declares his love and utters his false promises that it won't happen again. If you know any young lady caught in this type of situation share this book and get her help!
- I liked that Ronnie has such a strong support system. She has her father, Luke and Mindy. Unfortunately, she, like most women in her situation, fails to take advantage of her support.
And The Not So Much:
- This is one book that I fervently wished that I could get inside Shawn's head to have a better understanding of what was motivating him and why he reacted the way he did. However, I realize that knowing why Shawn behaved the way he did would ruin the realism. Meaning, no one knows for sure what drives a man to beat the woman he loves. Seeing things through Shawn's eyes would ruin the book. It is best to keep it via Ronnie's view only, that way the reader is in the dark and clueless as well.
- I was a bit discouraged that there was not a more thorough discussion on the consequences that Shawn faced at the end. I think it is important for girls out there to know what the punitive results are for abusers. Hopefully, with this knowledge they will be more inclined to act. I also felt that at the end of the book it would be beneficial to include a list of resources for girls stuck in this situation. If including this information helps only one girl, it will make a difference.
- I was put off by Ronnie's mother. Her character is flat, and a non participant for the most part. Her father however plays a vital role in the book. I just wished the mother was better developed.
- Yes, this book presents a love triangle but I was willing to overlook it because I really liked Luke's character for one, and second it was a nice diversion from the heavy topic. Unfortunately, most abused girls don't have a Luke waiting in the wings.
- This of course is a book I would recommend for an older YA audience due to the weighty issue and the references to drinking and some sexual situations. However, that being said, this is an important book that any girl, even as young as thirteen or fourteen if they are in an abusive relationship, they should read this.
- This is a small personal issue, but for me there was too much repetition with phrases with the word melt and melting...it was a little much for my taste.
Knee Deep ended up being a moving and compelling read for me. I appreciated Ronnie's young, innocent and naive voice. Watching her struggle and blame herself for the bruises was an eye opening experience, yet so real. Too many girls are caught in these violent cycles of abuse and forgiveness because they fervently believe they are meant to be with this man they love, despite his shortcomings. No one deserves to be hit, slapped, controlled, mentally or verbally abused. No excuses, no blame. Get out! Get Help. I am glad that I read this book!
"I'd never admit to loving being back in school, but I love being back in school. It smells like new ink from unopened text books, and everyone's in their favorite new clothes. It all just adds up to a fresh start."
"I watch my toes peek out from under my dress, something I never tire of seeing."
"I hate never mind. It's like---oh yeah, that thing I wanted to say? You're just not important enough for me to say it."
"I'm like a leaf battered about in the wind."
"Did I just admit to what I think I did? I'm half freed/ half chained more tightly. Someone knows, but he's not someone who will understand."
"My heart is starting to swirl as much ad my head and my emotions are as lost as my thoughts."
"I'd known him too long to think of him as anything less than a forever thing."
"Shivers run through me as his fingers slide through mine. Our fingertips touch, our palms slide together and I'm helpless to do anything but watch."
"I'm starting to understand the difference between embarrassment and humiliation. Embarrassment is toilet paper stuck to shoe, or your zipper sliding down. Humiliation is feeling stupid, knowing things should have been different instead of landing us all in this surreal situation."
"Mom tries to hug me, but I don't want it. I want to fold my arms and legs, fold myself in until I'm a tidy, crisp white envelope. Perfect. Clean. Untouched."
I received this book courtesy of Tribute Books in exchange for an honest review.
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