I read almost every genre & I enjoy venturing into unfamiliar territory. As a library volunteer, I'm constantly bringing home novels. Being a substitute teacher, I read lots of YA & children's books.
I was fascinated by the character of Josh in this novel, I felt for him as he tried to understand exactly what was happening to his childhood while others around him thought they had it all figured out for him. Josh was smart for being thirteen and I was surprised how fast his innocence was swept away from him and how weak he became once he was tempted. I really thought he would have considered his future since that was important to him but obviously what was occurring was just too tempting to walk away from. Josh became a victim when his middle school teacher made advances towards him and it wasn’t long before Josh became infatuated with her. No one could know what occurred between Josh and Mrs. Sherman, it was their secret. But it’s all here inside this novel, written down in detail, far more detail than I really needed to know. She educated him inside her classroom and inside her home. Why his parents didn’t figure what was happening baffled me and I was irritated that someone, anyone didn’t have an inkling that something was up between the two of them. Josh also loves baseball but concentrating on baseball and school are just not happening now.
Then, there is Rachel. I really liked Rachel, as she patient and considerate. What happens to Rachel and Josh inside the closet reflects on who Josh has become, the person no one knew. The story explodes as Josh tries to remember the promise that he made to Mrs. Sherman. This novel tells of two stories, this story of Josh, a young boy who got taken advantage of by his teacher and another story of this same Josh, who is now eighteen and is ready for graduation and moving forward in his life but having a hard time for his past keeps coming back. Five years later, Mrs. Sherman is slated to be released from prison and you can image what that does to Josh and his family. Hoping for a baseball scholarship for next year to one of his top college choices, Josh is having a hard time keeping his mind on baseball and his coach is not helping things. I wasn’t too fond of the ending; it was too wrapped up, too much sugar for me. For a book like this, it’s okay for me to have some negative feeling hanging, not deep ones but just ones that will take time to heal.
It’s a difficult subject to write about and I loved that the author chooses to write about it from a male’s view of point. The details were striking and clear at times making this a novel for only mature individuals.