Girl on the Brink: Christina Hoag
Loneliness, insecurities, the fear of being unwanted, divorce in your family, dysfunctional parents and the desire to feel loved can all play a part in a young teens life causing that teen to make some radically poor decisions. Falling prey to the wiles of a young teenage boy who at first appears to be polite, respectful and attentive can make this young girl his perfect victim. Verbal, physical, emotional and sexual abuse are at the heart of this important novel for all teens to read and understand when someone comes into your life and their primary goal is to destroy and control yours.
Friends are precious but when you allow someone to alienate you from those that always watch your back, hear you when you are distressed and discount their feelings what is revealed in this novel will definitely hit home with many teens, adults and anyone that needs someone in their lives that is controlling and handles everything they do. What happens when Chloe finds herself deeply imbedded with Kieran will not only enlighten everyone to a young man who is violent, abusive and dangerous but will hopefully teach everyone adults, young adults and teens to watch out for someone who is erratic, violent, apologizes for hitting you and abusing you and then foolishly taking them back.
Chloe is doing an internship at the local paper and Marion her boss is quite precise in what she expects her to handle. Chloe is smart and can handle creating stories and even gets a front-page byline the first time out. Having her deal with police reports, court reports and learning how to access criminal records and prison releases will come in handy when something serious comes her way. She is a product of two parents that could care less about her or her brother Tyler. When Tyler decides to cut school and experiment with drugs and more his mother sends him off to a military school to learn discipline and a hard lesson.
Kieran comes into her life and at first he seems like her perfect match. Small dates to burger places, for ice cream, coffee and then fancy dinners and presents. He seems to be a perfect suitor until he is not. Always monopolizing her time and even trying to horn in on her job by wanting to see her shoot videos, photos and even criticizing the way she handles situations, should have set off red flags for Chloe. She is blindsided in so many ways and when her friends want to hang out, do parties, sleepovers or just get to together she blows them off when Kieran snaps his fingers. Without even realizing it or rationalizing that she might be hurting both Jade and Morgan’s feelings she continues on until Kieran shows his true colors. Whenever she talks with her friends, or even mentions going out with them he gets violent and jealous. At one time he is talking to a girl and someone walks over to her at a party and the end result is she gets hurt. Feeling sorry for him when he relates that his father as a kid abused him she feels bad and accepts his apologies. Her mother is desolate since her father left and seems to not really care about his two children. College tour weekend and he puts a business trip ahead of her making her know that she does not count. Even when he claims that he will take her the next time she blows him off while her mother hides behind pills and alcohol.
When things get really difficult and Chloe’s friends no longer want her around, call her or even eat lunch with her what will it take for her to realize that she is in a violent and highly volatile relationship? When her mother realizes that she has been injured and needs medical attention why don’t they call the police to have a record of what Kieran did to her? Why feel sorry for someone that needs mental help and counseling? When Clarissa suggests that she gently suggests to him that help might be right on target for his anger issues the end result should have awakened her.
Getting on great at the newspaper and her mother finally getting it all together but her brother wanting to live with his father, things are about to take on another serious turn. Breaking off with Kieran which is the right thing to do and remembering the good and the bad she is still conflicted in her feelings. When yelling at her because he cannot pay his rent because she demands presents and big dinners, she answers him in a way that makes him more irate. She does not need all of these things and would never make him strapped for cash and not pay his rent. Kieran needs a scapegoat and you can tell that in every relationship he refuses to take blame for his actions and apologizes but really does not mean what his says. He is seriously disturbed and not even his mother and his absent father can control him. Meeting her mother he thinks will temper things with his false personality but when things heat up and she finally breaks it off you won’t believe what he does to get back at her. Phone calls, threats, stalking and then why do the police come to talk to Chloe? What does he claim that she did? Will she wind up the one who is the final victim and will he win in the end?
With her mother finally on her side and realizing what is happening and finding her own peace with the divorce will Chloe finally come to terms with the fact that Kieran is dangerous? When her mother sees her face and what happened to her eyes will they call 911 and report it? When the police comes that is when Chloe loses it but finally springs into action using her reporting skills to try and take him down once in for all. Just what she does and whether she succeeds you will have to learn for yourself. This is a powerful YA novel that all teens should read as author Christina Hoag brings to light what happens to young girls that are so in deed of someone to care for them that they get blindsided and do not see the light until the darkness comes and it’s too late. Abuse of any kind is wrong and the author adds in resources for readers or anyone experiencing any of type abuse to contact. As she closes the resource section and I will close this review with that statement: IF YOU THINK YOU ARE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP PLEASE GET HELP! You do not want to wind up as A GIRL ON THE BRINK!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews: MJ Magazine