Reviewed by Vernita Naylor for Readers’ Favorite
As a teenager in high school, this should be the best time of your life. In high school there is so much to explore and experience, from parties and hanging out with your friends to discovering a new outlook on your future, but instead this can also be the scariest, most uncertain, and lowest time of a teenager’s life. Talk To Me: HELP ME! Book 2 by Donna M. Zadunajsky deals with the essence of the social issues that affect the life of a teenager. While this is a true account of the lives that our teenagers are living today, when reading this book parents must be aware that some of the material is for mature audiences. Carly Boyles feels that her world is falling apart. Her friend, Mick Connors, is a cutter. Taylor Ryans is her ex-boyfriend who not only caused a wedge between her and her best friend, Staci Garrison, but he’s also a rapist. Carly discovered that not only did he rape her, but he raped her best friend, Staci, who later hanged herself. What should she do? Who will be his next victim? Who should she tell? Should she keep what she knows to herself? Would they believe her or blame her? So many questions and conflicting emotions are running through Carly’s mind and body; what would you do?
This book brings to light the epidemic affecting our children and youth every day. It has been estimated that within their personal circle a teenager is aware of at least one teen living a depressed existence or a life full of anxiety. Of those within the same circle that have either thought of or have attempted suicide, some succeed. According to healthychildren.org, at least 90% of the 15-24-year-olds that commit suicide experience some type of mental illness, behavior or alcohol, drug, sexual or physical abuse problems. Despite the traumatic accounts contained in this book, I’m glad that Donna M. Zadunajsky is continuing her efforts to bring these horrific details to the forefront. Readers will also find some questions and resources that they can use immediately to help one deal with the after-effects of rape.