Book Review: Exposure

Therese Fowler
Published By: Ballantine Books
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Buy it at
Source: Novel provided by publisher for review
Audience: Adult

*Notes before review - I usually provide my thoughts before the summary of the book. However, in this case, I felt that it was important to provide a summary first. I don't outline plot in my reviews, and I wanted y'all to have an idea of what the story is about. Also, while the targeted audience is adult, this novel is most certainly appropriate for high school teens as well. The love scenes are very tastefully done and not graphic at all, and they don't take center stage in thebook. In fact, I think teens could benefit from the message and lessons learned in this story. Now, carrying on...

Summary from author's website:
Amelia Wilkes’ strict father does not allow her to date, but that doesn’t stop the talented, winsome high school senior from carrying on a secret romance with her classmate, Anthony Winter. Desperately in love, the two envision a life together and plan to tell Amelia’s parents when she turns eighteen and is legally an adult. Anthony’s mother, Kim Winter, who teaches at their school, knows—and keeps—their secret. But the couple’s passion is exposed sooner than planned: Amelia’s father, Harlan, is shocked and infuriated to find naked pictures of Anthony on his daughter’s computer. Just hours later, Anthony is arrested.

Despite Amelia’s frantic protests, Harlan uses his wealth and influence with local law enforcement and the media to label Anthony a deviant who preyed on his innocent daughter. Spearheaded by a zealous prosecutor anxious to turn the case into a public crusade against “sexting,” the investigation soon takes an even more disturbing and destructive turn.

 As events spiral wildly out of control and the scandalous story makes national news, Amelia and Anthony risk everything in a bold and dangerous plan to clear their names and end the madness once and for all.

My thoughts:
“My dad keeps insisting that I was victimized. I told him that if I was, he’s the one who did it, by overreacting. Maybe parents don’t mean to mess up their kids’ lives, but why can’t they see that they’re as prone to bad judgment as we are? How can they possibly think we should trust and believe them?”

This quote from Amelia’s journal speaks volumes to me about the tone of the book. So many questions are raised about the rules that guide our society, the laws that govern us, how they are interpreted, and the devastating effects they can have when not applied appropriately. As parents, how do we protect our children in such a technologically advanced age that is so vastly different from when we were growing up? And at what point to we step back and allow our children to take control of their own lives? When do we realize that our job is now guiding and directing, but that our children hold the reins?

Exposure is one of the most socially relevant stories that I have read this year. It is powerful, engaging, moving, and heart-wrenching. As the point of view for narration shifted between Amelia and Anthony to that of their parents, my point of view as the reader shifted from me as a 17 year old senior in high school in love with a 20 year old man/boy (who is now my husband of 14 years) to that of me as the mother of two beautiful children, a son and a daughter, who could easily end up in either Anthony’s or Amelia’s shoes one day. I completely identified with Amelia and Anthony, so sure of their love and the future they had planned together. So secure in the rightness of their love that they didn’t consider the consequences of their decisions. At the same time, I identified with Anthony’s mom who struggled to deal with the consequences her son was facing for something that he and Amelia both thought was a private matter between them. I admired the way Kim handled the situation, never losing faith in her son, no matter how frustrated she was by the choices he made and how they in turn effected not only his and Amelia’s life but also Kim’s.

Therese Fowler’s writing is beautiful and easy to get lost in. It flows so smoothly, leaving no holes in the plot, no questions left unanswered, and the wording is like poetry. I loved the quotes from Shakespeare and the way the parts of the book were broken up into acts like a play. I was completely wrapped up in the Amelia and Anthony’s story. My heart just broke for them, and the ending made me cry – for reasons that I won’t reveal. You will have to read to find out! Exposure is one of those stories that will stay with me for a very long time. When I finished, I called Andrea late at night because I just had to talk to someone about it. I have been recommending Exposure to my friends and family as the one book they MUST read this year.

My only complaint - I want more! I was not ready to let go of Amelia and Anthony. I want the rest of their story!

I am looking forward to reading more by Ms. Fowler.


  1. Very interesting! Makes me want to read it. =D

  2. Great review. I wasn't sure about this book, but you have made me very interested. Thanks!

  3. This sounds really good, Tev! I want to read it. :)


Post a Comment

We love your comments!