Jenna Lord is a sixteen-year-old who is starting in a new school after a period spent in a psychiatric hospital. Her mother is a drunk and her father is a controlling psycho, while her older brother is fighting in Afghanistan. Jenna feels very alone, until she formsa special bond with her Chemistry teacher, Mr Anderson. He persuades her to try out for the track team and soon they're training together, and more.
I found this book very dark and extremely compelling. It's not a happy book, and it shouldn't be. I don't like books about a student-teacher affair which are too sugar-coated. The relationship between a teenage girl and a grown man, who is married and her teacher, is quite disturbing. Still, it's interesting to learn how it came to be in the first place.
The book is told in form of a long confession made at the end of the story by Jenna on a tape recorder, at the request of the police. It's not clear if the police actually gets the tape. Jenna's voice is very vivid, keeping the story suspenseful. This book kept me on my toes so much that I read it all in one setting.
The two main character are Jenna and her teacher. Jenna is a strong girl, despite her issues with her family and her problems with cutting. Mr Anderson seems a caring, generous teacher who takes an interest in problematic students, until we learn he's actually a very troubled man.