Past Forgiving

Gloria D. Miklowitz, Author
Gloria D. Miklowitz, Author Simon & Schuster $16 (153p) ISBN 978-0-671-88442-0
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Miklowitz (The Day the Senior Class Got Married) is back with another story taken from the front page, and few writers tell them better than she. This time the subject is date rape and though the plot is simplistic, the pacing is swift and the situations sharply delineated. Under the bullying of possessive older boyfriend Cliff, 15-year-old Alex feels insecure about her looks, intelligence and abilities. Soon Alex can do nothing to please her demanding boyfriend: ``She'd given up friends, dressed as he wanted, gave him time taken away from her family, avoided even talking to other boys-but it wasn't enough.'' Cliff's jealous tirades escalate to the point that he physically bruises Alex, but she forgives him and blames herself for his behavior. It is only when, during an unwelcome makeout session, Cliff gets ""carried away'' and rapes her that Alex finally recognizes his abusiveness and decides to close him out of her life. Cliff has other ideas, however, and the tension doesn't peak until the final sentence. Engrossing and informative. Ages 12-up. (June)
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