Breathing Underwater – Alex Flinn

breathing-underwater

It was only a slap. Well, maybe more than one. And maybe Nick used his fist at the end when the anger got out of control. But his girlfriend Caitlin deserved it–hadn’t she defied him by singing in the school talent show when he had forbidden her to display herself like that? Even though he’d told her that everybody would laugh at her because she couldn’t sing and was a fat slob? Both were lies. Because Caitlin was so beautiful, the only person who understood him. Out of his desperate need for her came all the mean words and the hitting. But now Caitlin’s family has procured a restraining order to keep Nick away, and the judge has sentenced him to Mario Ortega’s Family Violence class, to sit around every week with six other angry guys who hit their girlfriends. And to write a journal explaining how he got into this mess.

I always vowed never to get into an abusive relationship. Well, this book shows how you can fall into one without even seeing the warning signs. What’s really chilling is how Nick became an abuser without realizing what was happening and kept explaining his behavior away. Recommended. – Jessica, Teen Librarian

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