Today if Friday my Friends! I hope you all have great weekend plans with sunshine to accomodate. Today you are in for a very special treat because Tribute Books have given me another opportunity to review a Hauntingly Beautiful Book: Knee Deep by Jolene Perry
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.
This book was great in so many ways, that it is hard for me to begin in a certain place. Here goes nothing. First of all, you need to read this book. If you have ever been a mother, daughter, lover, friend, father, son, sister, or brother, this book is for you. The author, Jolene Perry, has wrote such a captivating and horrifying novel, that people, young and old, should read it. This novel starts at a place that we have all been: Young Love. The wistful yearnings and sneaking out to go meet ‘the forever’ boy. The time in your life where worries are behind you and what to wear to school should be the biggest worry, only this is not so for high school seniors Ronnie and Shawn. Perry lures us right into Ronnie’s story and the dark path where she is headed. The book starts with this one sentence, “Guilt pricks at my chest as I lie in bed and listen for Shawn’s motorcycle.” This opening sentence is a window into Ronnie’s world and tells me that she lives her life to make Shawn, her “forever”, happy. This opening sentence helped prepare me to make the journey with Ronnie as she struggles to do what is right and what she feels is right for the boy she loves. Thrown into the mix is Luke, the boy that everyone knows she should be with, everyone but her. Buckle up and prepare yourself for one of the most haunting and real books that you will read.
One of the things that make the novel so evocative is the main characters. There is Shawn. The boy that people are drawn to for some reason or another. The boy down the block who works at his father’s store. What you don’t see is the angry person behind the smile. The boy who holds on too hard and let’s his anger take over. The boy who hurts the one he loves. The attractive boy that has no chance in life but has a girl willing to give him chances he doesn’t deserve.
There is Ronnie. A character that we all know. She is the sweet girl next door. The best friend with whom you share everything with. What you don’t see is her heart that is so pure it could be her fallback. The girl with the wrong guy. The girl who wants to fix Shawn’s problems because she loves him. The girl who is a heroine in her own way. A brave soul looking out for everyone but herself. Ronnie is a girl whose bravery will stick in my mind. What makes this so chilling is that you DO know her and what happens to her makes you realize that it can happen to anyone.
And then there is Luke. The beautiful boy that is proclaimed as a ‘womanizer’, only he is far from that. The guy everyone wants to be with and really is too good to be true (he made me grin like a teenage girl). Everyone knows this besides the girl he loves. The girl he wants to be with. The girl he is in love with. The girl who is in love with a guy that pushes all the wrong buttons. Luke’s love for Ronnie is one of the rawest feelings that I have read. He loves Ronnie so much that it kills him to see what is happening, but honors her wishes and tells no one. It broke my heart to feel the emotions he was feeling. The struggle between his love and making it right.
As the story develops, it begins to take place around the classic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. The fact the Perry sets this real world tragedy into the most popular tragedy of all time had me scared. We all know how tragic Romeo and Juliet is and I was worried Perry was foreshadowing the ending of Ronnie’s story. The beautiful language of the play mixed in with Ronnie’s life was poetic and beautiful, and quite honestly, had me preparing for a disaster. As Shawn becomes more violent, Ronnie’s true bravery comes forth. From telling Shawn “No,” to telling her Dad what was going on, and confessing her love for Luke after everything happened, Ronnie is a very fearless character that young women should follow.
Getting right down to it, this is a very raw novel. It is about a girl in an abusive relationship, both physical and mental. We have to face the facts that what made Ronnie so strong was that she was able to talk about what was happening to her to her Father and best Friend. It’s hard to think about that most girls her age would be too scared to talk to anyone. This is what haunts me. Where Ronnie had a happy ending, it is not the same for some. She got out before it was too late. It was because she faced her fear and got help. Ronnie herself said “It’s like I’m suddenly in someone else’s life” (page 50). She became distant, hid the bruises, and put on a fake smile. What made her so sturdy was that she always said no to Shawn when it came to sex and didn’t drop out of the things she loved. That small amount of sanity helped her realize that she needed out. She never got in over knee deep. Please share this novel with people you know. It will help give some the courage they need, or open their eyes to signs that might go unnoticed. It will help everyone to realize that they should never go in too deep for they might not be able to get out.
Jolene Perry wrote a book about love, sorrow, hurt, pain, strength, joy, and love again. There is a happy ending waiting for all of us, we just have to be sure to walk in the tide before we splash in.
If you want to read on(which I strongly suggest you do), check out the links below. In the meantime, get to know the author. Have a great weekend friends!
Jolene grew up in Wasilla, Alaska. She graduated from Southern Utah University with a degree in political science and French, which she used to teach math to middle schoolers. After living in Washington, Utah and Las Vegas, she now resides in Alaska with her husband, and two children. Aside from writing, Jolene sews, plays the guitar, sings when forced, and spends as much time outside as possible. She is also the author of Night Sky and The Next Door Boys.
eBook Buy Links:
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