Book Review: Exposure
Published By: Merit Press
Publication Date: January 18, 2013
Page Count: 272
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary, Shakespeare Inspired
Macbeth is one of my favorite Shakespeare pieces so I have been so excited to read this novel. I was happy to see that Askew and Helmes stayed true to play and still managed to create characters that were all their own. Exposure focuses on greed, redemption, and the high school gauntlet. I love that way that these authors are able to take such timeless stories and place them in the realm of the teenager. Not only does this make it more accessible to readers who otherwise wouldn't give Shakespeare a chance, but it also provides a modern context for the Bard's tales.
The characters in this one are just as memorable as the ones I met in the first novel, Tempestuous. However, this installment has a much darker mood. The death of a popular athlete in a small Alaskan town has everyone reeling, but as the tale unfolds it seems that mischief most foul is at work. Exposure comes complete with a trio of native soothsayers, a likable yet wallflowerish main character who hides behind her camera lens, several hot boys, girl drama galore, and that damn spot that can't be removed. I enjoyed being able to pick out the elements that were directly inspired by Macbeth as I read.
Skye, the main character, is an interesting girl who doesn't always see herself clearly. I saw a lot of my high school self in her. High school, while usually a lot of fun, was an awkward phase for me. I wasn't quite sure who I was or how I fit into the high school social structure. Skye finds herself in the same situation. Rather than learning to navigate the social current, she chooses to focus on her family and her photography. I liked how down to earth Skye was and I know that her "realness" will appeal to many readers.
The plot of this one follows Macbeth pretty closely. Again, I enjoy seeing how Askew and Helmes will use the original piece, but still make the story something all their own. Macbeth is a much darker play than The Tempest so this one did not have the light hearted feel to it that the first novel did. This one felt much more like a winter read to me - I read it over several dark, rainy nights which set the mood perfectly. I also did have a little trouble settling into this one at first, but once I got to know Skye better I was hooked; I loved her voice and presence throughout the novel.
I'm really enjoying this series and I hope that there will be many more editions in the future. I've got my fingers crossed for novels inspired by Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Two Last Gripes: It bothered me that Skye was so willing to keep such a huge secret. I also was frustrated that we never found out for sure where Skye's mom was the night Skye went to the theater.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: I liked watching some of the main players struggle with their choices and tracking their path to redemption
First Sentence: Four girls in one dorm room.
Favorite Character: Skye
Least Favorite Character: Beth
Double, double, toil and trouble. Sometimes, the quest for high school royalty can be deadly! In this emotionally-charged twist on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a self-conscious shutterbug named Skye Kingston navigates a treacherous school year in Alaska fraught with unspoken secrets and tragic twists of fate. Along the way she encounters three strangely prophetic BFFs; one social-climbing, sociopathic cheerleader; and a heart-stopping hottie named Craig McKenzie: the man who would be Prom King. Can Skye save the boy she loves — and herself — before they get caught in the crosshairs?