It is extremely important that everyone is informed of domestic violence. It happens way too often, and young people need to be aware of the different types of domestic violence. These books explain how abuse is not just physical, but also deeply psychological and emotional, too.
Alex meets and falls for the new boy Cole, who is charming, sweet, and seems to understand her. But as the relationship progresses, Alex starts to notice Cole’s jealousy of her male friends and is having increased trouble ignoring his verbal pinches and put-downs. This book really captures how charming abusive partners can be and just how hard it is to leave an abusive relationship, especially when you believe that, underneath the abuse, the person still loves you.
When Caitlin starts dating Rogerson, it is almost “too good to be true.” Rogerson helps Caitlin forget the other hardships in her life: her neglectful mother, her missing sister. Caitlin soon finds herself dependent on Rogerson, and he takes advantage of her weaknesses. This book paints a portrait of a protagonist who knows she is on a destructive path, but can’t stop herself because she feels trapped.
Frances seems to have the perfect life: loving adoptive parents, supportive and great friends, and a wonderful new boyfriend. But when she gets a letter from her birth mother, she can no longer bury her past. Once upon a time, she was not Frances, but Shine, and had two sisters. She lived with her lonely mother. One night, her mother smothered her two sisters, and only Frances escaped. Now, her mother is out of prison and is after Frances. This book paints a frightening portrait of how a dark past can catch up to the present, and how it feels to have an abuser come back for you.
Mel no longer has any friends. Her best friend, Rachel, will not talk to her after Mel called the cops at Rachel’s party. But Mel has a secret, a secret she cannot tell Rachel or the other girls who now shun her: she was raped that night. The book follows Mel through her freshman year of high school as she struggles with her classes and the bullying she receives from former friends. The only place she can find solace is in her art class with her quirky art teacher. Anderson narrates with raw and compelling interior dialogue, and shows her audience just how hard it is to speak up.