Romance goes terribly wrong in this second book in the author’s Real Life series. Bryn, 15, is assaulted by her gorgeous boyfriend, Preston, and she tries to hide her bruises and deny her shame, until her father discovers the abuse and makes her press charges. The court hearing drags on, and Bryn just wants to make it all go away. Meanwhile, Preston threatens her, and his in-crowd friends call her a drama queen and send her ugly text messages. Bryn finds help from her cool grandmother, who teaches Bryn to surf wild waves, and also from Jesus, who speaks to her from a contemporary version of the Book of Luke. Will she ever trust a boy and fall in love again? Romance does return when Bryn gets close with Sean, a cool surfer, who supports her. Rue folds in quite a lot for one YA novel, but the abusive secrets will grab readers, and the dialogue is right on target. —- Hazel Rochman
This is less a book about abusive boyfriends and mean kids than it is a book about healing. I recommend this book for girls 14+, especially those on the verge of dating.