Mellifica by Melissa Mayberry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ms. Mayberry's book illustrates all too sadly how teenagers today are experiencing things that are way over their heads. When they should be studying for college entrance tests and taking Advanced Placement classes, the characters in this book are drinking and having underage sex. Their innocence is destroyed due to lack of parental supervision. Melissa, the main character, is enticed by a strange guy, Arien, who is friends with her cousin. Even though she has the superstar Sandy as a boyfriend, she allows herself to be seduced by a guy everyone warns her against.
The seduction turns into obsession as she is unprepared for the intense rollercoaster of feelings Arien dishes up to her, alternatively sweet and caring versus distant and strange. Things fall apart when Arien's dark secret is revealed and Melissa descends into a self-destructive spiral. Her mother belatedly starts caring about her, but the struggle for day to day survival is so difficult that it looks as if Melissa cannot recover. Broken and discarded, Melissa hits bottom before she is able to slowly pull herself back to a sense of normalcy.
The message for teens is to hold onto your innocence longer, and do not enter the soap-opera grownup world while your emotions are so fragile and unstable. The experiences described are traumatic and parents are advised to screen this book for younger teens.
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