Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Turning Point, Melissa Luznicky Garrett (5 stars)

From the press release: Convinced a fresh start is all she needs to escape the problems at home, seventeen-year-old Jenna Lyons runs away in the middle of the night. But when her car breaks down on the outskirts of La Grange, Missouri, population less than a thousand, she gets sucked into the small town, and one family in particular. Jenna discovers there’s a liar in La Grange, and he’s deceived everyone. Now she must decide whether to run away from the truth, or blow his secret wide open.
Be forewarned, the story grabs you and won’t let go. You’ll turn each page with both trepidation for what might happen and a strong desire to know. The author’s dedication becomes ominous, “for all of you hidden in plain sight, waiting to be found.”

Jenna’s had a tough life. Thanks to an alcoholic mom, she’s grown up too fast. Strong and determined, she's had enough when her best friend’s father crosses the line. She takes off for parts unknown and fate intervenes. Her car breaks down and a passerby comes to her aid. He takes her home to hang out with his family while her car is being fixed. Next thing she knows, she’s stuck in a situation most of us can’t even fathom.

Phil, Myra, and Dominic seem a bit odd at first. Odd doesn’t begin to cover it. Jenna is drawn to Dominic, but keeps getting mixed signals. Noticing some bruising when she bumps into him coming out of the shower one evening, she asks for explanations. As each piece of the puzzle unravels, neither she nor the reader senses just how bad it’s about to get.

If you are intrigued by dark characters and the unexpected, you will appreciate every turn of the page. Melissa’s ability to slowly reveal layer after layer of this family’s dark secret is impressive. Never once did I guess the series of events about to occur.

Your heart goes out to each character this cruel secret touches. When it’s done, you’ll want to wrap your arms around everyone and hold on tight. Protect them from anything else. I’ll admit I cried like a baby when Dominic finally confessed his situation to Jenna and punctuated it with, “For years, Jenna.” Three words… all it took to drive home the devastating news.

Note: Although the book is young adult, it has some very strong and disturbing themes, so please be considerate of that for younger readers.

For more about the book and the author, please visit her blog: Someday,When I’m Famous. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.


Melissa said...

Thank you for such a glowing review!! Out of all the characters, I think Dominic's was my favorite to write. He grabbed my heart and wouldn't let go . . .

And yes, this book is definitely for the older YA crowd. Thanks for pointing that out. :-D

Tia Bach said...

Loved it, Melissa! I posted it to GoodReads and Amazon as well.

I have a 6th grade advanced reader who devours YA, but she's still 10 (11 in May) and some of it I have to watch so I like to let readers know.

Wishing you nothing but success!